Innovative roles of uPARAP in lymphatic vessel morphogenesis and functions.

cancer • lymphatic vessel morphogenesis • cell signalling

Agnès Noël is professor at the Université de Liège. Within the GIGA research centre, her work focuses mainly on tumour
vascularisation, in particular on lymphatic vessel morphogenesis, the formation of new lymphatic vessels (lymphangiogenesis). Besides its role in homoeostasis and immunity, this complex biological process contributes to cancer progression
and metastasis dissemination towards lymph nodes. Conversely, lymphatic vessel dysfunctions, tissue swelling and
lymphoedema can arise from cancer treatment (irradiation or surgery). Agnes Noël and her team have found that the
uPARAP protein, an endocytic receptor involved in collagen remodelling, is specifically involved in lymphangiogenesis.

This WELBIO project aims to understand precisely, at the molecular level, how the uPARAP receptor acts in lymphatic morphogenesis, to investigate its role in different steps of the metastatic process and to identify its molecular partners. The potential of uPARAP (or its partners) as a therapeutic target will be assessed for cancer treatment, as well as for lymphoedema treatment.

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