What We Do
The Protein Studies Research Program, under the direction of Jordan Tang, Ph.D., is interested in the structure and function of several biomedically important aspartic proteases. Historically, this program contributed to the basic structure-function model of aspartic proteases and their inhibition.
Major contributions include the amino acid sequence of the first aspartic protease, pepsin, the identification of catalytic site aspartics, the mechanism of catalysis, and the principle of pepsin inhibition by transition-state analog pepstatin. These discoveries contributed to the understanding and effective design of HIV protease inhibitors.
More recently, scientists in the Protein Studies Research Program reported the identification of beta-secretase as a membrane-anchored aspartic protease named memapsin 2. Memapsin 2 initiates the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease, leading to the production of amyloid-b peptide. Thus, memapsin 2 is a major therapeutic target for the development of inhibitor drugs to treat Alzheimer’s disease. This program has made significant contributions to the development of Alzheimer’s inhibitors and is actively working in this area.
Protein Studies Research Program
Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation
825 NE 13th Street, MS 28
Oklahoma City, OK 73104
Phone: (405) 271-7291
Fax: (405) 271-7249