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Tech ID: 05-01

Summary - Fibulin-3 is an integrin-binding extracellular matrix protein that mediates endothelial cell adhesion. Scientists at the National Jewish Health have discovered that this secreted protein plays an important role in tumor development by inhibiting angiogenesis, and that its expression is altered during tumorigenesis. Therefore, fibulin-3 can be a useful target to regulate angiogenesis and tumor growth. In addition, fibulin -3 could be used as the basis for the development of a cancer diagnostic kit.


Potential Applications

  • Method to decrease or prevent tumor growth and metastasis by regulating angiogenesis

  • Diagnostic assay for various cancers (breasts, ovary, kidney and colon)

  • Assays for evaluating the efficacy of anti-cancer treatments


Advantages of Invention

Fibulin-3 is a secreted protein that is present in serum, urine and tissue samples, making it easily detectable and a potential target for antibody-based technologies.


State of Development - Our scientists have shown the following: 

  • Using human tumor samples, it was found that fibulin-3 gene expression is severely down regulated in various tumor types collected from cancer patients. More specifically, fibulin-3 expression was down regulated in almost 100% of breast, ovary and kidney tumors studied. Their expression was significantly decreased in all tumor metastases studied.

  • Fibulin-3 expression is downregulated during endothelial cells tubulogenesis

  • Fibulin-3 overexpression by endothelial cell inhibit their proliferation, decreases VEGF expression but increases the expression of thrombospondin-1 (an anti-angiogenic factor)


In vivo, National Jewish Health scientists have shown that fibulin-3 decreases angiogenesis and early preliminary results indicate a reduction in tumor size in mice.


Patent - Published U.S. Patent Application # 20060094054.


Publication - Albig et al. Cancer Research (2006) 66(5):2621-2629.


Inventors - William P. Schiemann, PhD and Allan Albig, PhD


Licensing Status - This technology is available for licensing.


For Further Information, Contact:
Emmanuel Hilaire, PhD
Technology Transfer Office
National Jewish Health
1400 Jackson Street, Room M206b
Denver, CO 80206
Voice: (303) 398-1262
Fax: (303) 270-2352