Dan Li, Ph.D.
Funded by the American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest
Elucidating Enzyme's Role in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension
Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is characterized by elevated blood pressure due to narrowed blood vessels, which result from abnormal growth of pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells (PASMC). Our preliminary studies indicate that PAH is associated with both abnormal cell metabolism and altered activity of genes that are responsible for the abnormal PASMC growth. We will study an enzyme called ALDH1A3 that is increased in PAH PASMC. We will also use a mouse model that lacks ALDH1A3 to determine the adverse effects of pulmonary hypertension. Our hope is that this project will establish increased ALDH1A3 in PASMC as a potential promising target for PAH therapy.