Fingerprinting proteoglycan turnover by ADAMTS proteases

  • Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    Fingerprinting proteoglycan turnover by ADAMTS proteases in the cardiovasculature



  • Contact name

    Salvatore Santamaria

  • Contact email

  • Sponsor organisation

    Imperial College London

  • Duration of Study in the UK

    3 years, 0 months, 0 days

  • Research summary

    A minority of the population develop a swelling of their aorta near the point where it is connected to the heart. This swelling may enlarge to the point where it ruptures or splits into two parallel channels. Either of these events may be lethal. The problem is that this is a silent disease and enlargement of the aorta often results in no symptoms at all until a lethal event occurs. We want to discover a method of tracking the swelling of the aorta by examination of a simple blood sample.
    We know that inside the wall of the aorta there are a group of very large molecules called proteoglycans which play a major role in its integrity and function. If these molecules accumulate the aorta enlarges and there is an increased risk of it splitting, what is called a dissection, or rupture. There are a group of catalytic proteins or enzymes called proteases which have the abbreviation ADAMTS. The level of activity of these ADAMTSs determines the turn-over of the large proteoglycan molecules. Fragments of these molecules can be detected in the blood. We think there are patterns of these fragments which would allow us to know when an aorta is enlarging and when it is quiescent and safe. It is possible that these fragments could turn out to be targets for drug treatment.

  • REC name

    London - West London & GTAC Research Ethics Committee

  • REC reference


  • Date of REC Opinion

    18 May 2021

  • REC opinion

    Further Information Favourable Opinion

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