Chemical Biology Approaches to Target Protein Modification in Disease
Conference Recording May 14, 2013
About the SpeakerDr Megan Wright works in the Tate Research Group at Imperial College London. Megan was awarded an EPSRC Doctoral Prize Fellowship to develop her work on chemical probes at Imperial. Megan passed her PhD viva on her thesis "Chemical tools for probing protein N-myristoylation in protozoan parasites", and continues her research in the group as a EPSRC Doctoral Prize Fellow. Megan was awarded an RSC Analytical Biosciences bursary to present her work at the Keystone Symposium on Chemical Biology in February 2012 in New Mexico.
My group works in the emerging multidisciplinary field of chemical proteomics, where we design and apply chemistry-driven approaches to explore posttranslational modification (PTM) in living systems. A constant theme in our work is the validation of enzymes involved in PTM as drug targets and discovery of novel drug-like enzyme inhibitors, using tools ranging from protein total synthesis and labelling to activity-based protein profiling and proteomics. Recent technological advances based on bioorthogonal ligation chemistry have enabled several classes of PTM, including protein lipidation, to be probed with greatly enhanced speed and flexibility, and are rapidly supplanting older approaches such as radiolabelling. In this presentation I will highlight some of our recent advances in probing protein lipidation using chemical proteomics, and describe how we have applied this technology to understand and exploit novel drug targets in protein lipidation pathways in parasitic infection and cancer.