About Clinical Biochemistry Research Lab
Our lab focuses on pediatric cancer research, specifically the biological roles of intracellular proteases, with particular emphasis on enzymes called cathepsins that are found in the endosomal-lysosomal system.
Originally, these proteases were discovered as enzymes with broad specificities that degrade proteins down to small peptides and amino acids. The amino acids produced can then be re-used for new protein synthesis.
The majority of the cathepsins were found in lysosomes, intracellular organelles that contain an array of hydrolytic enzymes. These organelles were viewed as terminal degradative compartments. This suggested that this group of enzymes were designed to be "the garbage disposal unit" of cells and at best could be viewed as "recycling centers." In recent years, we and others have begun to challenge these views.