Membrane Traffic in Infection and Disease team, led by Duarte Barral, was recently awarded with a fellowship from NOVA Health.
This fellowship will support a project entitled "Impairing tumor progression through the inactivation of the small G protein Arl13b".
"GTP-binding proteins act as molecular switches, cycling between active guanosine 5′-triphosphate (GTP)-bound and inactive guanosine 5’-diphosphate (GDP)-bound conformations. The cycling between these two states is regulated by guanine nucleotide-exchange factors (GEFs), and by GTPase-activating proteins (GAPs). GEFs activate small G proteins by catalyzing the exchange of GDP for GTP, whereas GAPs inactivate small G proteins by catalyzing GTP hydrolysis.
We and others found that the GTP-binding protein Arl13b plays an important role in tumor progression, by positively regulating cancer cell growth, migration and invasion and that it could be targeted as an anti-cancer therapy. However, there are no known molecules that modulate the activity of Arl13b. Therefore, this project aims to identify GAPs that promote the inactive conformation of Arl13b. This will allow the identification of molecules with therapeutic potential to inhibit Arl13b activity and impair cancer progression."
Congratulations to the team!