Hypertension Cell and Molecular Biology Laboratory
Ann Tallant, PhD & Patricia Gallagher, PhD
Ann Tallant, PhD, and Patricia Gallagher, PhD
Research in the Tallant/Gallagher laboratory focuses on the cellular and molecular regulation of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS). Studies are designed to examine the role of the RAS in a variety of complex, chronic pathologies, including hypertension, diabetes, and atherosclerosis. The goal of this research is to delineate the cellular regulatory mechanisms and patterns of gene regulation that are essential to normal cell, tissue, and organ function and to determine the dysregulation that occurs in disease states. Emphasis is placed on the role of the RAS peptide products, angiotensin II and angiotensin-(1-7), whose opposing actions are essential for blood pressure control, homeostasis, and cell growth regulation. With the discovery of ACE2, a new component of the RAS that converts angiotensin II to angiotensin-(1-7) with high efficiency, current research efforts focus on the molecular regulation of this critical enzyme in maintaining a normal functional balance of these two peptides. Current projects also investigate the mechanisms that regulate cell growth by angiotensin peptides in vascular smooth muscle, cardiac, and neural cells.
Recently, Drs. Gallagher and Tallant initiated a novel area of research, investigating the inhibition of cancer cell growth by angiotensin-(1-7). The focus of this project is to determine whether the peptide will serve as an effective chemotherapeutic and chemopreventive agent for the treatment of breast and lung cancer. Current studies examine the molecular mechanisms that reduce cancer growth and tumor angiogenesis, as well as determine the effective treatment dose and time for maximum efficacy. The ultimate goal of this research is to use the heptapeptide in a combination therapy to both reduce cancer growth as well as inhibit tumor formation.