Inflammation plays an important role in disease onset and progression in a vast number of diseases, called also inflammation-associated diseases including also various cancers, inflammatory bowel diseases, various forms of arthritis, osteoarthritis, atherosclerosis, and asthma. Proteases play a major role in a number of these diseases. Among the proteases found to be tightly linked with inflammation-associated diseases, including many types of cancer, are also cysteine cathepsins that can be found extracellularly at the sites of inflammation due to their secretion from primarily infiltrated immune cels, such as macrophages.
Furthermore, since they are heavily upregulated in a number of inflammation-associated diseases, they are therefore perfect targets for such approaches. There is increasing evidence that monitoring cathepsin activity in vivo may be applicable to diagnostic imaging, such as demonstrated primarily for cancer. Several approaches would be discussed, including the chemical biology approaches with small molecule substrates, as well as by macromolecules (e.g. DARPins). Moreover, cathepsins can be also used as targets for targeted drug delivery approaches combined with diagnostics, thereby offering a theranostic potential.
Hosted by: Jernej Ule