Molecular Pharmacology


Development of novel peptide-based protein inhibitors for use as cancer therapeutics

For the majority of cancers, targeted therapies are not yet available. For example, systemic chemotherapy is the only treatment option for triple negative breast cancer after surgery. However, chemotherapy is highly toxic and cancer cells can eventually become resistant to the treatment. Recently, research in cancer biology has discovered that a small chemical protein modification called methylation can play an important role in tumourigenesis and chemotherapy resistance. Similarly, the enzymes that control the methylation state of other proteins are among the most frequently dysregulated genes in many types of human cancers (e.g., the MLL family of lysine methyltransferases) and there is now strong interest in developing targeted therapies against these modifying enzymes. 

Our objective is to utilize TWO complementary methods of peptide-based inhibitor development (peptide array and in silico based) to efficiently design potential inhibitors that disrupt the function of critical proteins known to be drivers of breast cancer. NuvoBio has recognized that there is an urgent need to develop strategies to overcome resistance in the treatment of cancer. In partnership with the Biggar lab, we work to systematically design peptide-based inhibitors and carry out all cell-based characterization of potential cancer therapeutics.

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