New findings from a study into blood clots led by scientists at the Centenary Institute, will help researchers to develop safer anti-clotting drugs for patients suffering from thrombosis.
Emerging evidence shows that a family of enzymes (known as oxidoreductases) are released from platelets and blood vessel linings in reaction to injury, and are essential for blood clotting to occur. However, scientists have so far been unable to determine the exact function of these enzymes in this process.
A research paper, published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal eLife, has progressed that understanding by showing how one particular type of oxidoreductase, ERp5, inhibits platelet clumping – thereby hindering blood clotting. It does so by breaking a chemical bond in a key receptor protein (known as an integrin) on the platelet surface.
“Currently patients with thrombosis can be treated with anti-clotting therapeutics that target platelet integrins, but they can also cause life-threatening bleeding as a side effect. Our findings will help us develop safer anti-clotting drugs because we can now modulate integrin function via this chemical bond,” says co-lead author Dr Joyce Chiu, from the ACRF Centenary Cancer Research Centre.
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Learn more about the work of the ACRF Centenary Cancer Research Centre.