Principal Investigator: Mr Tore Eriksson
Taisho Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., Saitama, JapanTags: 42755, Drug target, PheWAS, protease
Proteases, enzymes that break down proteins, are involved in a lot of different processes in the body. In humans, around 800 proteases are known. When they don’t work properly the effects are far-reaching, leading to a number of diseases. However, proteases are also difficult to study in the lab since their function often involves multiple parts of the body. Proteases also often work in concert, where cleavage of one protease by another is necessary for function, and interactions like these can be linked into cascades of protein cleavage whose dynamics are difficult to predict.
However, all of us bear individual differences in our blueprint, the genome. These differences are sometimes found within our genes and will then lead to individual variation in protein function. We would like to look for functional variants in proteases that exist among the participants of the UK Biobank project. By comparing test results and medical records between participants with differences in protease function, we hope to be able to shed light on the processes and diseases these proteases are involved in. This will open up possibilities for new research into ways to treat these diseases by developing drugs that interact with proteases.
This information will improve the possibility to develop new cures for diseases where proteases play an important role. The results will not only be used by our company, but by publishing the found interactions in the scientific literature we hope that this area of research will be invigorated in academia as well as in industry.