The ADAMTS13 enzyme as a new target for thrombosis

Allosteric activation of ADAMTS13

James Crawley (lead researcher)

Imperial College London

Start date: 01 October 2014 (Duration 3 years)

Dr James Crawley at Imperial College London have been awarded a PhD studentship to look at how an enzyme called ADAMTS13 helps regulate the clotting process. With coronary heart disease being the biggest killer in the UK, a deeper understanding of how clots form is in need.

In this project, the researchers are exploring how ADAMTS13, an enzyme in the blood, gets switched on and off. In particular, they are looking at how this enzyme recognises and regulates an important clotting factor called von Willebrand factor (vWF) by breaking it up into pieces (a process called cleavage). vWF helps platelets bind to collagen in the vessel walls at sites of damage. When vWF is not properly regulated, clotting (thrombotic) complications can occur, which contributes to risk of stroke or heart attack. The team also wish to explore whether, contrary to current thinking, there may be a natural inhibitor of ADAMTS13.

By characterising how ADAMTS13 regulates vWF, and does so on demand, Dr Crawley and colleagues hope to gain a deeper understanding of how ADAMTS13 helps clots form. With this knowledge, the team could develop new therapeutic drugs directed at ADAMTS13 or its targets for the treatment of stroke and heart attack.

Project details

Grant amount £117,428
Grant type Fellowship
Application type PhD Studentship
Start Date 01 October 2014
Duration 3 years
Reference FS/14/44/30962
Status In progress

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