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29 May 2013

978 0 30647 910 6
GBP 117.00

Proteases in Tissue Remodelling of Lung and Heart (Proteases in Biology and Disease)

Uwe Lendeckel and Nigel M. Hooper (eds)

Proteases are responsible for the breakdown of proteins into smaller peptides. This process is implicated in a variety of essential cellular processes including cell growth, reproduction and tissue remodelling. Because of the importance of these functions, it is not that surprising that inappropriate regulation of this class of enzymes can result in serious disease states including arthritis and cancer.

Proteases in Tissue Remodelling of Lung and Heart is part of a series of books that look at the role of proteases in biology and disease. This particular edition (edited by Lendeckel and Hooper) is a collection of 11 chapters discussing proteases in tissue remodelling and how these proteases can become implicated in the onset and progression of disease. Particular attention is paid to proteases in the lung and heart with the first six chapters dedicated to the former and the last five to the latter.

The chapters are laid out very clearly and immediately make the reader aware of its aims and the content that is to follow. Each section introduces the basics of proteases that are relevant to that chapter. This allows each chapter to be read alone with no prior knowledge required. This makes the book very useful if you have a specific interest, arrhythmias for example, letting the reader skip straight to Chapter 9 and cover the pages that are directly relevant. The chapters are broken down further into subsections for even greater ease and convenience. Finally, each chapter is concluded clearly and concisely with the key points of the chapter outlined.

A major theme throughout the book is the role of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). The chapters give in-depth reviews on MMPs and introduce other proteases relative to cystic fibrosis (Chapter 1), inflammation of lung (Chapter 2), interstitial lung disease (Chapter 3), lung emphysema (Chapter 5), cardiac hypertrophy (Chapter 6), ischaemia and myocardial infarction (Chapter 7), heart failure (Chapter 8) and arrhythmias (Chapter 9). Chapter 4 focuses more on protease inhibitors, especially tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs), in cancer therapeutics. This chapter is interesting as it takes a more clinical look at the subject material and provides evidence from clinical trials. I particularly enjoyed Chapter 10, which focuses on proteases in tissue engineering. This subject area is interesting as it lies at the interface of many scientific disciplines. The authors use much of the information that has been covered previously in the book and bring it together in the context of regenerative medicine.

The only weakness to this book is that it is out-of-date with its research (this edition is from 2003). The majority of the book aims to provide a general background to the area of proteases, which it achieves with great success. At several points, however, the book points to recent research and novel proteases with still poorly understood function and importance. With the growing significance of this field and the rapid progress that has occurred in our understanding, the book could perhaps do with a further edit to address this.

I believe this book can be an extremely helpful tool for anyone keen to learn about proteases in the lung and heart. The content is sufficient to make it useful not only for undergraduate students, but also for graduate students, researchers and clinicians. This textbook provides a strong foundation into the field of proteases and particularly in the context of lung and heart remodelling. I would therefore recommend this book to anyone interested in building an understanding of protease biology.

Matthew Smith (The Babraham Institute)

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