Dr David Buttle


Clinical Medicine, School of Medicine and Population Health

Emeritus Fellow

+44 114 215 9516

Full contact details

Dr David Buttle
Clinical Medicine, School of Medicine and Population Health
The Medical School
Beech Hill Road
S10 2RX

I began my career as a technician before obtaining, in 1978, a Research Fellowship at Shriners Burns Institute & Department of Pathology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, U.S.A. From 1982 I held research posts in the Department of Biochemistry, Strangeways Research Laboratory, Cambridge, after which I became a post-doctoral Research Fellow with the Arthritis & Rheumatism Council. In 1993 I was appointed to a Senior Lecturer post at The University of Sheffield Medical School then as Reader in Matrix Biology in 2000. I retired from the University in September 2017.

Research interests

My major interest is in proteolytic enzymes and extracellular matrix turnover, with principal funding from Arthritis Research UK, The Wellcome Trust, MRC and the Dunhill Medical Trust.

Current projects

  • Glycosaminoglycans as modifiers of protein localisation and function.
  • Developing new aids for cartilage regeneration.
  • Proteoglycans – functions and turnover.
  • Developing plant cysteine proteinases as anthelmintics.
  • Proteinases in kidney fibrosis.
Professional activities and memberships

I am a member of the following Learned Societies:

  • The Biochemical Society.
  • British Society for Matrix Biology (formerly British Connective Tissue Society).
Key Publications

See all publications on PubMed

Staines KA, Ikpegbu E, Törnqvist AE, Dillon S, Javaheri B, Amin AK, Clements DN, Buttle DJ, Pitsillides AA, Farquharson C. (2019) Conditional deletion of E11/podoplanin in bone protects against load-induced osteoarthritis. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 20: 344.

Mead TJ, Du Y, Nelson CM, Gueye N-A, Drazba J, Dancevic CM, Vankemmelbeke M, Buttle DJ, Apte SS. (2018) ADAMTS9-regulated pericellular matrix dynamics governs focal adhesion-dependent smooth muscle differentiation. Cell Reports, 23: 485-498.

Melling GE, Flannery SE, Abidin SA, Clemmens H, Prajapati P, Hinsley EE, Hunt S, Catto JWF, Coletta RD, Mellone M, Thomas GJ, Parkinson EK, Prime SS, Paterson IC, Buttle DJ, Lambert DW. (2018) A miRNA-145-TGFβ1negative feedback loop regulates the cancer-associated fibroblast phenotype. Carcinogenesis, 39(6): 798–807.

Ikpegbu E, Basta L, Clements DN, Fleming R, Vincent TL, Buttle DJ, Pitsillides AA, Staine KA, Farquharson C. (2018) FGF-2 promotes osteocyte differentiation through increase E11/podoplanin expression. J Cell Physiol, 233: 5334–5347.

Staines KA, Javaheri B, Hohenstein P, Fleming R, Hopkinson M, Buttle DJ, Pitsillides AA, Farquharson C. (2017) Hypomorphic conditional deletion of E11/podoplanin reveals a pivotal role in osteocyte dendrite elongation. J Cell Physiol, 232: 3006-3019.

Staines KA, Prideaux M, Allen S, Buttle DJ, Pitsillides AA, Farquharson C. (2016) E11/podoplanin protein stabilization through inhibition of the proteasome promotes osteocyte differentiation in murine in vitro models. J Cell Physiol, 231: 1392-1401.

Levecke B, Buttle DJ, Behnke JM, Duce IR, Vercruysse J. (2014) Cysteine proteinases from papaya (Carica papaya) in the treatment of experimental Trichuris suis infection in pigs:  two randomized controlled trials. Parasites Vectors, 7: 255.

Robinson DE, Buttle DJ, Short RD, McArthur SL, Steele DA, Whittle JD. (2012) Glycosaminoglycan (GAG) binding surfaces for characterizing GAG-protein interactions. Biomaterials, 33: 1007-1016.

Buttle DJ, Behnke JM, Bartley Y, Elsheikha HM, Bartley DJ, Garnett MC, Donnan AA, Jackson F, Lowe A, Duce IR. (2011) Oral dosing with papaya latex is an effective anthelmintic treatment for sheep infected with Haemonchus contortus. Parasites Vectors, 4: 36.

Vankemmelbeke MN, Holen I, Wilson AG, Ilic MZ, Handley CJ, Kelner GS, Clark M, Liu C, Maki RA, Burnett D, Buttle DJ. (2001) Expression and activity of ADAMTS-5 in synovium. Eur J Biochem, 268: 1259-1268.

Kafienah W, Brömme D, Buttle DJ, Croucher LJ, Hollander AP. (1998) Human cathepsin K cleaves native type I and II collagens at the N-terminal end of the triple helix. Biochem J, 331: 727-732.

O'Hara BP, Hemmings AM, Buttle DJ, Pearl LH. (1995) Crystal structure of glycyl endopeptidase from Carica papaya:  a cysteine endopeptidase of unusual substrate specificity. Biochemistry, 34: 13190-13195.

Farndale RW, Buttle DJ, Barrett AJ. (1997) Improved quantitation and discrimination of sulphated glycosaminoglycans by use of dimethylmethylene blue. Biochim Biophys Acta, 883: 173-177.

Bell E, Ehrlich HP, Buttle DJ, Nakatsuji T. (1981) Living tissue formed in vitro and accepted as skin-equivalent tissue of full thickness. Science, 211: 1052-1054.