Role of cysteine cathepsins in complement activation in cancer

There is still a significant unmet need for successful early diagnosis and treatment of major life-threatening or debilitating diseases like cancer and other inflammation-associated diseases, making this project of high biomedical relevance. One of the major reasons is that these diseases are still not well understood at the molecular level. The same is true also for the role of cysteine cathepsins and complement in these diseases. Using a combination of biochemical, proteomic and in vivo experiments, important new information will be obtained that will shed light on cancer progression and on the role of cysteine cathepsins in these diseases, including in complement regulation. Moreover, the project is expected to open new avenues in the area of of complement research, which recently began to emerge as one of the key factors in development of tumorigenesis. Identification of C1q ligands on the surface of cancer cells would be the real highlight of the project and a major breakthrough in all these areas of research, including complement, cancer and proteolysis. The gained knowledge will thus not only significantly contribute to our understanding of the complex biological phenomena, but will also be instrumental in biomedical research to understand and develop novel strategies to combat cancer and other inflammation-associated diseases.

ARRS project no. J1-1710, Boris Turk

Duration: 1. 7. 2019 – 30. 6. 2022