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Role of Caveolin-1 in age-associated vascular amyloidosis (CANVAS)


Project funded by the Ministry of Education and Research, PN-10N/2023-

Coordinator: Victor Babeș National Institute of Pathology (IVB), Prof Dr. Mihail Eugen Hinescu & Conf. Dr. Mihaela Gherghiceanu

Core team: Daciana Marta, Ana Maria Enciu, Elena Codrici, Tudor Emanuel Fertig, Maria Dobre, Iuliana Ciocănea-Teodorescu, Maria Dudău, Victor-Eduard Peteu, George Terinte-Balcan

Age-associated amyloidosis results from abnormal, multiorgan accumulation of fibrils, formed by a variety of precursor proteins, some still uncharacterized. Early diagnosis is difficult and, with the exception of the genetic transthyretin-derived senile systemic type, there are currently no available targeted therapies for any amyloidosis.

CANVAS is a preclinical, proof-of-concept study, which aims to characterize the specific role of caveolin-1 (Cav1) in the pathogenesis of age-associated vascular amyloidosis, using a wide range of complementary approaches from the fields of genomics, proteomics and structural biology. 

Amyloid deposition in kidney (left: optical microscopy, right: electron microscopy)

(1) Development of an experimental 3D vascular model/organoid allowing an in-depth study of the molecular mechanisms leading to amyloidogenesis in the context of Cav1 deficiency;

(2) Study of molecular mechanisms leading to amyloidogenesis in a Cav1-deficient mouse model;
(3) Investigation of potential associations between amyloidosis and Cav1 deficiency in human patients;
(4) Development of an in vitro CRISPR/Cas9 system to block amyloidogenesis by reintroducing deficient gene(s), with potential future therapeutic applications.

We expect to successfully generate an in vitro experimental model which allows studying pathways leading to amyloid deposition in Cav1 deficiency and subsequently, development of biomarkers for the early diagnosis of this potential disease subtype. We also expect to confirm the association between amyloid formation and Cav1-deficiency in a mouse model and human patients and to characterize amyloid deposition in various tissues, including heart and kidney, using advanced bioimaging techniques.

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