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Konczal J.,CRUK Beatson Institute | Gray C.H.,CRUK Beatson Institute
Protein Expression and Purification | Year: 2017

Protein production facilities are often required to produce diverse arrays of proteins for demanding methodologies including crystallography, NMR, ITC and other reagent intensive techniques. It is common for these teams to find themselves a bottleneck in the pipeline of ambitious projects. This pressure to deliver has resulted in the evolution of many novel methods to increase capacity and throughput at all stages in the pipeline for generation of recombinant proteins. This review aims to describe current and emerging options to accelerate the success of protein production in Escherichia coli. We emphasize technologies that have been evaluated and implemented in our laboratory, including innovative molecular biology and expression vectors, small-scale expression screening strategies and the automation of parallel and multidimensional chromatography. © 2017 The Authors


Peter S.,University of Würzburg | Bultinck J.,Ghent University | Myant K.,CRUK Beatson Institute | Jaenicke L.A.,University of Würzburg | And 13 more authors.
EMBO Molecular Medicine | Year: 2014

Deregulated expression of MYC is a driver of colorectal carcinogenesis, necessitating novel strategies to inhibit MYC function. The ubiquitin ligase HUWE1 (HECTH9, ARF-BP1, MULE) associates with both MYC and the MYC-associated protein MIZ1. We show here that HUWE1 is required for growth of colorectal cancer cells in culture and in orthotopic xenograft models. Using high-throughput screening, we identify small molecule inhibitors of HUWE1, which inhibit MYC-dependent transactivation in colorectal cancer cells, but not in stem and normal colon epithelial cells. Inhibition of HUWE1 stabilizes MIZ1. MIZ1 globally accumulates on MYC target genes and contributes to repression of MYC-activated target genes upon HUWE1 inhibition. Our data show that transcriptional activation by MYC in colon cancer cells requires the continuous degradation of MIZ1 and identify a novel principle that allows for inhibition of MYC function in tumor cells. © 2014 The Authors.


Paul N.R.,University of Manchester | Paul N.R.,CRUK Beatson Institute | Jacquemet G.,University of Manchester | Jacquemet G.,Turku Center for Biotechnology | Caswell P.T.,University of Manchester
Current Biology | Year: 2015

Integrins are a family of heterodimeric receptors that bind to components of the extracellular matrix and influence cellular processes as varied as proliferation and migration. These effects are achieved by tight spatiotemporal control over intracellular signalling pathways, including those that mediate cytoskeletal reorganisation. The ability of integrins to bind to ligands is governed by integrin conformation, or activity, and this is widely acknowledged to be an important route to the regulation of integrin function. Over the last 15 years, however, the pathways that regulate endocytosis and recycling of integrins have emerged as major players in controlling integrin action, and studying integrin trafficking has revealed fresh insight into the function of this fascinating class of extracellular matrix receptors, in particular in the context of cell migration and invasion. Here, we review our current understanding of the contribution of integrin trafficking to cell motility. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


PubMed | CRUK Beatson Institute, York College - The City University of New York and City University of New York
Type: | Journal: Biomaterials | Year: 2016

A central challenge in cancer care is to ensure that therapeutic compounds reach their targets. One approach is to use enzyme-responsive biomaterials, which reconfigure in response to endogenous enzymes that are overexpressed in diseased tissues, as potential site-specific anti-tumoral therapies. Here we report peptide micelles that upon MMP-9 catalyzed hydrolysis reconfigure to form fibrillar nanostructures. These structures slowly release a doxorubicin payload at the site of action. Using both invitro and invivo models, we demonstrate that the fibrillar depots are formed at the sites of MMP-9 overexpression giving rise to enhanced efficacy of doxorubicin, resulting in inhibition of tumor growth in an animal model.


Humpton T.J.,CRUK Beatson Institute | Vousden K.H.,CRUK Beatson Institute
Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine | Year: 2016

The p53 protein is essential for the implementation of the cellular response to challenging environmental conditions. Reacting to stochastic nutrient stress, p53 integrates the activity of key metabolite-sensing pathways to coordinate an appropriate cell response. During starvation, p53 activity augments cell survival pathways, inhibits unnecessary growth, and promotes efficient nutrient generation, utilization, and conservation. Similarly, during oxygen stress, p53 facilitates redirection of cellular metabolism toward energy generation through nonoxidative means, the suppression of reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, and ROS detoxification—promoting cell survival. However, if adverse conditions are too acute or persistent, p53 can switch roles to implement canonical cell killing. The ability of p53 to regulate metabolism is a powerful feature of p53 biology that can both promote cell survival and act as a check on the inappropriate proliferation of cancer cells. © 2016 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.


Ahmad I.,CRUK Beatson Institute
Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England | Year: 2015

Urothelial cell carcinoma (UCC) of the bladder is one of the most common malignancies, causing considerable morbidity and mortality worldwide. It is unique among the epithelial carcinomas as two distinct pathways to tumourigenesis appear to exist: low grade, recurring papillary tumours usually contain oncogenic mutations in FGFR3 or HRAS whereas high grade, muscle invasive tumours with metastatic potential generally have defects in the pathways controlled by the tumour suppressors p53 and retinoblastoma. Over the last two decades, a number of transgenic mouse models of UCC, containing deletions or mutations of key tumour suppressor genes or oncogenes, have helped us understand the mechanisms behind tumour development. In this summary, I present my work investigating the role of the WNT signalling cascade in UCC.


Ioannidou K.,University of Glasgow | Anderson K.I.,CRUK Beatson Institute | Strachan D.,CRUK Beatson Institute | Edgar J.M.,University of Glasgow | Barnett S.C.,University of Glasgow
BMC Neuroscience | Year: 2014

Backgound: Myelination is a very complex process that requires the cross talk between various neural cell types. Previously, using cytosolic or membrane associated GFP tagged neurospheres, we followed the interaction of oligodendrocytes with axons using time-lapse imaging in vitro and ex vivo and demonstrated dynamic changes in cell morphology. In this study we focus on GFP tagged astrocytes differentiated from neurospheres and their interactions with axons.Results: We show the close interaction of astrocyte processes with axons and with oligodendrocytes in mixed mouse spinal cord cultures with formation of membrane blebs as previously seen for oligodendrocytes in the same cultures. When GFP-tagged neurospheres were transplanted into the spinal cord of the dysmyelinated shiverer mouse, confirmation of dynamic changes in cell morphology was provided and a prevalence for astrocyte differentiation compared with oligodendroglial differentiation around the injection site. Furthermore, we were able to image GFP tagged neural cells in vivo after transplantation and the cells exhibited similar membrane changes as cells visualised in vitro and ex vivo.Conclusion: These data show that astrocytes exhibit dynamic cell process movement and changes in their membrane topography as they interact with axons and oligodendrocytes during the process of myelination, with the first demonstration of bleb formation in astrocytes. © 2014 Ioannidou et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


PubMed | CRUK Beatson Institute
Type: | Journal: Protein expression and purification | Year: 2017

Small GTPases regulate many key cellular processes and their role in human disease validates many proteins in this class as desirable targets for therapeutic intervention. Reliable recombinant production of GTPases, often in the active GTP loaded state, is a prerequisite for the prosecution of drug discovery efforts. The preparation of these active forms can be complex and often constricts the supply to the reagent intensive techniques used in structure base drug discovery. We have established a fully automated, multidimensional protein purification strategy for the parallel production of the catalytic G-domains of KRas, Rac1 and RalB GTPases in the active form. This method incorporates a four step chromatography purification with TEV protease-mediated affinity tag cleavage and a conditioning step that achieves the activation of the GTPase by exchanging GDP for the non-hydrolyzable GTP analogue GMPPnP. We also demonstrate that an automated method is efficient at loading of KRas with mantGDP for application in a SOS1 catalyzed fluorescent nucleotide exchange assay. In comparison to more conventional manual workflows the automated method offers marked advantages in method run time and operator workload. This reduces the bottleneck in protein production while generating products that are highly purified and effectively loaded with nucleotide analogues.


PubMed | CRUK Beatson Institute and University of Glasgow
Type: Journal Article | Journal: The FEBS journal | Year: 2016

The discovery that the 5AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) serves to link the tumour suppressors LKB1 and the tuberous sclerosis complex and functions to slow macromolecular synthesis through attenuation of the mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 revealed a role for AMPK in tumour suppression. On the other hand, the well-recognized role of AMPK in maintaining ATP homeostasis, through suppression of anabolism and promotion of catabolism, as well as the role of AMPK in neutralizing reactive oxygen species, via maintenance of NADPH-dependent reductive capacity, point to tumour-protective roles in the context of metabolic stress, which is a key feature of many solid tumours. A growing number of studies thus suggest a duality of functions for AMPK that are either pro- or anti-cancer, depending upon context. Importantly, AMPK is composed of three subunits, and multiple isoforms exist for all three, allowing for different permutations to assemble and the potential for specific AMPK complexes to regulate distinct cellular processes. Moreover, certain subunits of the AMPK complex are frequently overexpressed in a spectrum of human cancer types, suggesting an outright oncogenic function for specific AMPK complexes. Adding complexity to this picture, the catalytic AMPK alpha subunits belong to a family of 14 kinases that can all be activated by LKB1 and studies are beginning to reveal a similar duality of roles in cancer for other members of the AMPK-related kinase family.


PubMed | CRUK Beatson Institute
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Cell metabolism | Year: 2016

Cancers can derive metabolic support from the stromal cells that surround them. A new study in Cell Metabolism (Yang etal., 2016) describes how ovarian cancer cells can satisfy their need for glutamine by stimulating glutamine production in adjacent fibroblasts, highlighting a metabolic dependence that might be targeted for therapy.

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