Latest News for 12/2019
31 Oct 2019
Researchers at the University of Dundee have made a discovery they believe has the potential to put the brakes on the ‘runaway train’ that is Parkinson’s disease. The team, based at the Medical Research Council Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit (MRC-PPU) in the School of Life Sciences, have discovered a new enzyme that inhibits the LRRK2 pathway. Mutations of the LRRK2 gene are the most common cause of genetic Parkinson’s.
29 Aug 2019
Hannah Tovell a PhD student in Dario Alessi lab working in collaboration with Claire Crafter (AstraZeneca) and Alessio Ciulli and Andrea Testa in his lab have elaborated a compound that we have termed SGK3-PROTAC1 that induces selective degradation of SGK3 protein kinase. Hannah was able to show that SGK3-PROTAC1 suppressed proliferation of ZR-75-1 and CAMA-1 cancer cell lines treated with a PI3K inhibitor (GDC0941) more effectively than could be achieved by a conventional SGK isoform inhibitor (14H), underscoring the benefit of the PROTAC approach.
15 Apr 2019
Hannah Tovell an Alessi lab PhD student working closely with the Ciulli lab has published an improved HaloPROTAC method to induce post–translational knockdown of endogenous proteins. This approach makes use of CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing technology to introduce a Halo tag onto the N or C terminus of any desired target protein that can then be targeted for degradation by a HaloPROTAC probe (see Figure).
05 Nov 2018
The success of a University of Dundee collaboration that has attracted almost £60 million of investment, helped develop dozens of drugs for clinical use and won the prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Award will be celebrated this week. Scientists, politicians and representatives of some of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies will come together to mark the 20th anniversary of the University of Dundee’s Division of Signal Transduction Therapy (DSTT).
07 May 2018
The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) has awarded MRC PPU Director Dario Alessi the 2018 MJFF Langston Award for “service and dedication to our shared goals of advancing Parkinson's understanding and therapeutic development”. For further information see here.
12 Apr 2018
Professor Sir Ian Wilmut – who led the team that created Dolly the sheep – has backed an initiative to tackle Parkinson’s disease, after being diagnosed with the condition.
07 Mar 2018
A Parkinson’s patient who has lived with the disease for more than a decade has visited the University of Dundee to see how money he has raised will be used to research potential new treatments for the condition.
10 Oct 2017
Researchers in the laboratory of Professor Alessio Ciulli have designed a small molecule that tricks a particular E3 ubiquitin ligase protein to destroy another of its kind. E3 ligases act like ‘molecular assassins’ in cells as they naturally tag unwanted proteins for cellular degradation. There are believed to be over 600 E3 ligases in the human cell and many are involved in human diseases, providing many attractive targets for drug discovery.
01 Aug 2016
Researchers led by the University of Dundee’s Professor Dario Alessi have developed a new method of measuring the activity of disease-causing mutations in the LRRK2 gene, a major cause of inherited Parkinson’s disease. The team believes this research, which is published in Biochemical Journal, could help pave the way for future development of a clinical test that could facilitate evaluation of drugs to target this form of the condition.
28 Jan 2016
International Consortium Identifies and Validates Cellular Role of Priority Parkinson’s Disease Drug Target, LRRK2 Kinase An international public-private consortium of researchers brought together by the University of Dundee and led by The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research has identified and validated for the first time the cellular role of a primary Parkinson’s disease drug target.