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  • Snail activation and development of fibrosis

    images19Angela Nieto’s team has been working for 14 years in the functional analysis of the Snail gene family. After spending several years at the National Institute for Medical Research, London, Nieto is now a research professor at the Institute of Neurosciences of Alicante, where he heads a research group devoted to motion analysis and cellular plasticity. The first results of the group pointed to a fundamental role of Snail genes in embryonic smooth .

    In this work, published in The EMBO Journal, Nieto group presents, in collaboration with the Hospital de San Juan de Alicante and the Imperial College of London, the first data that could result in the use of control of the expression of Snail as a diagnostic marker and target for anticancer therapies.

    During embryonic development, the kidney epithelium originates from mesenchymal cells, whereas the opposite regression process has been associated with epithelial tumors and fibrosis leading to renal failure. It is known that Snail participates in the progression of such tumors, but so far no known role in development. This study has allowed recognition of Snail genes as a group of lowered expression during development and that this inhibition is correlated with the expression of cadherin-16. By contrast, Snail-induced activation leads to suppression of cadherin-16 through renal differentiation factors, which marked a new path of impaired kidney homeostasis. In turn, activation induces renal fibrosis in transgenic mice, while normal Snail expression remains silent.

    Published on December 16, 2012 · Filed under: Bioscience, News; Tagged as: , , , , ,
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