Coronary artery disease, the number one killer world-wide, restricts and ultimately blocks blood vessels, and cuts off oxygen supply to the heart. A study published on August 11 in the open access journal PLOS Biology reports that treatment with AGGF1, a protein which promotes angiogenesis (the growth of new blood vessels), can successfully treat acute heart attacks in mice. The therapeutic benefits depend on autophagy, a normal breakdown process that removes cellular structures that are damaged or no longer needed and recycles their molecular components.
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