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Enzyme research gets funding

Funding of over £320,000 has been announced for research into an enzyme that is believed to hold the key to treating kidney disease and diabetes

Funding of over £320,000 is to go towards research into an enzyme that is believed to hold the key to treating kidney disease and diabetes. Nottingham Trent University and the University of Sheffield in the UK have been jointly awarded the funding by The Wellcome Trust.

For the last 15 years, scientists at the Nottingham Trent University's School of Science and Technology have been examining the role and behaviour of the enzyme Transglutaminase 2 (TG2). In collaboration with the Sheffield Kidney Institute at the University of Sheffield, they have shown that by 'blocking' this enzyme it is possible to alleviate and halt the progression of kidney disease, but there are no drugs currently available to achieve this clinically.  

Using £147,000 of funding awarded to Nottingham Trent University the university's scientists will be turning their attention to answering the complicated question of how TG2 migrates from the inside to the outside of cells. It is thought that understanding this process could provide the key to developing a pharmaceutical solution to treat kidney disease.

Alongside this work, a further £24,000 from the Higher Education Collaboration Fund has also been awarded to the university by the East Midlands Healthcare and Bioscience iNet, which will allow the scientists to investigate the genetic factors affecting the onset of type 2 diabetes. This separately funded project will aim to identify if TG2 is genetically linked to a person's susceptibility to develop the type 2 disease, which in turn could offer opportunities for earlier diagnosis and treatment.

Dr Elisabetta Verderio Edwards from the university's School of Science and Technology and lead researcher for the two projects, said: "We're delighted that our history of important research into TG2 has led to these two funding awards. Our work is aimed at unlocking the secrets of two diseases that are posing significant problems to the health of the nation, and this funding provides us with an exciting opportunity to take that work even further."

7th December 2009

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