A UAlberta team has discovered that a protein that plays a critical role in metabolism, the process by which the cell generates energy from foods, is important for the development of pulmonary hypertension, a deadly disease. Pulmonary hypertension is caused by the narrowing of the blood vessels in the lung, due to excessive growth of cells in the blood vessel wall.
The cells grow in number until they obstruct the vessels, causing the heart to struggle pushing blood through the lungs to the point where the heart fails and the patient dies. Evangelos Michelakis, a professor in the Department of Medicine and senior author of the study published in the journal Cell Metabolism, says in a sense, the cells grow uncontrollably, resembling cancer cells, with which they share many molecular features.
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