We are interested in working out the fundamental mechanisms that orchestrate the way that white blood cells recognise and migrate toward sites of tissue inflammation. This will help in the design of not only new effective anti-inflammatory drugs but also anti-cancer drugs, since the spread of various tumour cells also relies on similar migratory mechanisms. A family of molecules referred to as chemokines act as incoming beacons and direct cells to the site of tissue injury where they are required to fight infection or respond to tissue injury. When the resolution of inflammation is impaired and/or the inflammatory response is switched on inappropriately, cells accumulate in tissues unnecessarily, leading to a range of inflammatory or autoimmune diseases. Biochemical signals within cells convey information that allows cells to move in response to chemokines and provide a sense directionality. Professor Ward has uncovered new evidence that addition of so-called methyl groups to proteins could be an important mechanism for cell migration. We plan to use combined molecular and chemical approaches that provide the most powerful way to control and learn about individual methylated proteins within cells and organisms. Ultimately, the chemicals and information that we obtain may be combined for future development of new drugs that may block unwanted cell migration.
|Effective start/end date||1/03/08 → 28/02/10|
Wounds and Injuries