Members of our department, Monika Biasizzo, Eva Vidak, Miki Zarić, Boris Turk and our alumni Urban Javoršek have published a review article titled Cysteine cathepsins: A long and winding road towards clinics in the journal Molecular Aspects of Medicine. The article, detailing the troublesome journey of cysteine cathepsin research from the discovery of their involvement in various pathologies to their use in clinical applications, will be published as a part of special issue titled Proteases in Health and Disease which is expected to be released in December 2022.
Read the full article here.
Biomedical research often focuses on properties that differentiate between diseased and healthy tissue; one of the current focuses is elevated expression and altered localisation of proteases. Among these proteases, dysregulation of cysteine cathepsins can frequently be observed in inflammation-associated diseases, which tips the functional balance from normal physiological to pathological manifestations. Their overexpression and secretion regularly exhibit a strong correlation with the development and progression of such diseases, making them attractive pharmacological targets. But beyond their mostly detrimental role in inflammation-associated diseases, cysteine cathepsins are physiologically highly important enzymes involved in various biological processes crucial for maintaining homeostasis and responding to different stimuli. Consequently, several challenges have emerged during the efforts made to translate basic research data into clinical applications. In this review, we present both physiological and pathological roles of cysteine cathepsins and discuss the clinical potential of cysteine cathepsin-targeting strategies for disease management and diagnosis.