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Oxidative stress in endothelial cells

Final Activity Report Summary - NOX REG (Oxidative stress in endothelial cells)

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are produced as the unavoidable byproducts of aerobic metabolism in the mitochondria. In addition it has become increasingly clear that ROS are deliberately generated by specialised protein complexes in cellular membranes. This deliberate ROS production plays an important role in many signalling cascades for cell proliferation and migration.

In tumour biology, ROS act on several critical processes. First, production of ROS in vascular tissue will lead to angiogenesis (formation of new blood vessels) necessary to sustain oxygen delivery to the tumour tissue. Secondly, ROS act also on adhesion and migration of the tumour cells which regulate metastasis (tumour cell spreading and attachment a new site).

Since ROS are emerging as important messengers in vascular biology, it is important to gain more insight into the regulation of ROS production. We studied the interaction of a specific tumour endothelial marker with the ROS producing complex in endothelial cells. We show that the interaction is specific and may play a role into adhesion and migration of the endothelial cells. The identification of this new pathway could be relevant for therapies targeting tumour angiogenesis.