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Scientists at the Mainz University Medical Center gain new insights into Taspase1 function
Date:7/10/2012

[Stiftung Tumorforschung], the German Cancer Aid, the Thyssen Foundation, and Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, the researchers have now gained new insights into the enzyme's molecular functions. "Previously, it was assumed that two Taspase1 enzymes had to come together in order to be active and cleave other cellular proteins," explains Stauber. "Our latest results not only demonstrate that one Taspase1 molecule is sufficient for this, but also that we can even block the tumor-promoting properties of the enzyme by 'gluing' two Taspase1 molecules together."

Hence, the Mainz-based researchers identified a completely novel approach to developing drugs that may be used to inhibit Taspase1. "We are now searching for chemical substances that could function as molecular Taspase1 'adhesives'," adds Stauber. As part of the so-called Chemical BioMedicine Initiative, the scientists are betting on nature's vast chemical repertoire. "Natural products from fungi and marine sponges are a highly privileged source for potential new drugs. Evolution already pre-checked the biological qualities of such chemical substances in living organisms. Thus, we have a good chance of finding the right chemical decoys," predicts Stauber. "The robotic platform at the Mainz Screening Center combined with our Taspase1 assays will play a leading role in this search for the 'needle in the haystack'."


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Contact: Professor Dr. Roland H. Stauber
roland.stauber@unimedizin-mainz.de
49-613-117-7002
Johannes Gutenberg Universitaet Mainz
Source:Eurekalert

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