Erin Wildeman - Facile Fluorescence-Based Detection of PAD4 Mediated Citrullination

Due to PAD4’s overexpression in several types of cancer and autoimmune diseased tissues, there has been a call to develop an effective small molecule inhibitor to use as a potential cancer therapeutic.
Research in this field is currently limited by the lack of an effective assay for PAD4 activity. We propose an improved assay which is fast, facile, and fluorescence-based to test for PAD4 activity. By using a
small-molecule mimic of PAD4’s natural substrate, the assay will then take advantage of the protease trypsin, to monitor PAD4 activity, ultimately leading to the fluorescence output.
Erin Wildeman is a senior biochemistry major from Corning, New York. She is currently doing research in the chemistry department with Dr. Marcos Pires. Next year, Erin will be pursuing a PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Illinois.