Innovator in Nitrase biology
Proteins play critical roles in the body, including regulating the function of the body’s tissues and organs. In cells, the function of proteins is often regulated by site-and residue-specific modifications like phosphorylation and ubiquitination that alter their structure, function or localization. In disease settings, the functions of key proteins are dysregulated, as a direct result of these modifications but also by nitration. Nitration-dependent diseases include age-related conditions, such as neurodegenerative disease, fibrosis and cancer, which affect millions of people.
Long believed to be a pure chemical reaction (like reactive-species oxidation) and therefore a poor drug target, nitration has been an elusive area for drug development. Nitrase Therapeutics’ scientists were the first to identify the enzyme dependent nature of nitration (vs. chemical) and elucidate its potential as a small molecule drug target. The company discovered that the nitration of proteins is actually a protein-catalyzed and exquisitely selective process regulated by nitrase enzymes and that the nitro-substrates can be highly validated therapeutic targets. These insights enable our unique understanding of the role of protein nitration in age-dependent diseases.
The therapies that Nitrase Therapeutics is developing will target these enzymes and potentially help slow or halt the progression of diseases including Parkinson’s and cancer, the company’s leading indications. The company also aims to expand its therapeutic focus to include other diseases.