Peptidylarginine deiminases (PADs) in tissue regeneration and extracellular vesicle modulation

Dr Sigrun Lange – Project Leader

  • We have shown that PAD mediated protein deimination is crucial in central nervous system damage, and that pharmacological inhibition of PADs promotes tissue regeneration. We are currently working towards PAD modulatory treatments in models of CNS regeneration.
  • We have demonstrated a novel role for PADs in extracellular vesicle biogenesis in several types of cancer. This is highly relevant for novel treatment possibilities in a number of pathologies. Our studies on extracellular vesicle manipulation in cancer and regeneration are ongoing.
  • We are interested in the role of PADs in neurodegenerative disease progression, particularly with respect to neuroinflammatory responses and extracellular vesicle release.  We are currently investigating PADs in models of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson ’s disease, frontotemporal dementia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
  • We foster interdisciplinary, national and international collaborations including with research groups at UCL Institute of Neurology (Dr S Wray, Prof J Hardy, Prof F Edwards, Dr M Devine, Dr J Pocock), UCL Institute for Women’s Health (Dr M Hristova), The University of Hertfordshire (Prof J Inal), The University of Alabama School of Medicine (Prof AP Nicholas) and the UMass Medical School (Prof P Thompson).

Melanocortin peptides and natural products in models of inflammation and cell death

Dr Stephen Getting – Project Leader

My research focuses on understanding the role played by the melanocortin peptides and natural products in models of inflammation and cell death. The aim of this research is to understand their mechanism of action and identification of target receptors/pathways for pharmacological manipulation and subsequent disease treatment. Understanding how these naturally occurring products exhibit their pharmacological effects (i.e. an early phase inhibition of cytokine release, late phase induction of pro-resolving anti-inflammatory pathways and prevention of cell apoptosis) is an important area of development for regenerative medicine. Using cell based assays, this research will hopefully lead to development of novel therapeutics to treat some of the biggest debilitating diseases that we face such as arthritis and neurodegeneration.