Investigation into a possible inhibitor of the enzyme matriptase

A new inhibitor for an enzyme involved in cancer development

Spring 2008

£50,848 to the School of Biological Sciences at UEA for an investigation into a possible inhibitor of the enzyme matriptase.
Proteases are a group of enzymes that act by breaking up other proteins, changing their properties and functions.  A protease called matriptase is thought to be important in the development of a number of cancers, including breast, prostate and ovarian cancers.  Inhibiting the activity of matriptase is therefore a potential strategy for the development of a cancer therapy.

This project will test a new inhibitor for its ability to interfere with matriptase's cancer-promoting properties, using cancer cells grown in the laboratory.  The inhibitor has been developed from a natural plant protein and may be suitable for future drug development.  This project will be the first step towards determining whether it has the promise to be developed further as a potential anti-cancer therapy.

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