New Enzyme Detection Technology Developed

ATLANTA, June 2 (UPI) — U.S. researchers say they’ve developed a method that reliably identifies an enzyme involved in osteoporosis, arthritis, atherosclerosis and cancer metastasis.

Scientists said the enzyme, cathepsin K, has eluded reliable detection in laboratory experiments in the past. But now a Georgia Institute of Technology research team says it has developed an assay that reliably detects and quantifies mature cathepsin K.

“This assay is important because researchers and pharmaceutical companies need a dependable method for sensitively detecting a small amount of cathepsin K and quantifying its activity to develop inhibitors to the enzyme that can fight the diseases while minimizing side effects,” said Assistant Professor Manu Platt, who led the research.

Cathepsin K is required to maintain adequate calcium levels in the body, but it can be highly destructive because it has the ability to break down bone by degrading collagen and elastin, Platt said.

The study that included researchers Weiwei Li, Zachary Barry, Catera Wilder, Philip Keegan, Rebecca Deeds and Joshua Cohen is reported in the journal Analytical Biochemistry.

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