Article

Another angiogenic gene linked to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

The Center for Transgene Technology and Gene Therapy, Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology (VIB), KU Leuven, B-3000 Leuven, Belgium.
Trends in Molecular Medicine (Impact Factor: 10.11). 09/2006; 12(8):345-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.molmed.2006.06.008
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A new study by Greenway and colleagues links mutations in the angiogenin gene to patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)--a progressive and fatal motoneuron disease. This is an unexpected finding because angiogenin was originally identified as a molecule involved in the formation of blood vessels (angiogenesis). Angiogenin bears striking similarity to vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which is the prototypic angiogenic factor that has recently emerged as a molecule with important neuroprotective activities. Besides VEGF, angiogenin is the second so-called angiogenic factor implicated in ALS, raising the question of whether additional angiogenic factors might have a role in ALS. Overall, these findings identify angiogenin as a novel candidate gene in the pathogenesis of ALS--a discovery that ultimately might lead to the development of new therapeutic strategies.

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