LRG1 and dysfunctional vessel growth


  • Prof John Greenwood

    University College London

  • Prof Stephen Moss

    University College London

Project summary

The uncontrolled growth of abnormal blood vessels is a feature of a number of life-threatening and life-changing conditions including cancer, eye disease, atherosclerosis and arthritis. These defective blood vessels can be very harmful. Blood flow in these new vessels is often restricted, leading to a reduction in oxygenation, and they can easily rupture, causing bleeding into the surrounding tissue. Although some advances have been made in preventing abnormal vessel growth it may, in some instances, be preferable to promote normal vessel growth.

To address this problem, we first need to learn more about what causes vessels to grow abnormally in disease as this is currently poorly understood. We discovered that the levels of the molecule LRG1 are increased in many diseases and it promotes the growth of aberrant dysfunctional vessels. We also found that LRG1 subverts normal vessel growth causing them to grow in a chaotic and damaging manner. Our objective in this study is to use various systems that model eye disease and cancer in humans to investigate how LRG1 is induced and how it prevents normal vessels from growing.

This work will provide fundamental insight into a critical pathological process.