Growth, Death and Senescence, Signaling Pathways, Computational Molecular Biology, Cancer Chemistry, Experimental and Molecular Therapeutics
Chemistry & Biochemistry
University of Colorado, Boulder, Dept of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry
Number of Openings: 1
Development of novel cancer therapeutics
Protein transmembrane domains regulate many pivotal biological processes, including cell signal transduction, cancer development, ion transmission, and membrane protein folding. However, the molecular recognition in membranes is little understood due to the lack of available probes with high affinity and specificity. Conventional tools such as antibodies are unable to bind to the transmembrane regions of membrane proteins.
My lab aims to develop exogenous peptide and small-molecule agents that target transmembrane helices. Using these agents, we can study these important membrane protein-protein interactions, thereby further our understanding of molecular recognition in membranes. As a proof-of-principle, we plan to develop novel peptide/peptidomimetic reagents to target the first transmembrane domain (TMD-1) of latent membrane proteins 1 (LMP-1) found on the Human herpesvirus. These designed peptides will be used to study TMD-1-mediated LMP-1 activation.
The findings from these studies will lay the groundwork for the discovery of new pharmaceutical agents with which we can prevent, diagnose, and treat herpesvirus-dependent cancers. We will employ structure-based drug design and high-throughput screening techniques to identify novel small-molecule inhibitors of LMP-1 as potential anti-cancer drugs.