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PFTT - An Alternative Form of the Nell1 Protein

The Nell1 protein is a cell signaling molecule that controls cell growth and differentiation of various tissues. It has been demonstrated by research at UCLA and ORNL, that the application of Nell1 to damaged tissues such as bone and muscle (skeletal and cardiac) can stimulate the rebuilding of new tissue. In addition, it can trigger the growth of a complex network of the mammalian vasculature--a process that is essential for all proper tissue regeneration after damage. The form of the human Nell1 protein that is currently being used in studies (rodent and large animal trials) geared towards human clinical applications is the full-length form, an 810 amino acid polypeptide. The size of the full- length Nell1 protein makes it a very difficult and expensive therapeutic to manufacture, purify and manipulate in the lab. We have recently discovered a much shorter form of the Nell1 protein that is predominant in human tissues. In human and fetal hearts, for example, this shorter form is the abundant Nell1 form, and the longer form is hardly present. This alternative Nell1 protein, by virtue of its smaller size and that it is the more abundant form compared to the longer one in human tissues is a better therapeutic form of this material.

Biosciences Division
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Phone: (865) 576-4680
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