Monday 15 October 2012, 1.15PM
Speaker: Dr Robin Ketteler, University College London
All eukaryotic cells utilize a process called autophagy to cope with external and internal stresses such as nutrient deprivation, DNA damage or low oxygen pressure. Further, autophagy has been implicated in the development of several diseases such as cancer, viral infection and neurodegenerative disorders. As a consequence, there may be a benefit to modulate the autophagic response in these conditions. I will describe high-throughput screening approaches to identify small molecules that target the autophagy machinery. Specifically, we have developed a luciferase-based assay that measures the activity of autophagy protease ATG4B as readout for maturation of the autophagosomal marker protein LC3. Using this system, we have identified both inhibitors and activators of cell-based ATG4B activity that were further investigated with regards to their potential as selective anti-proliferative compounds in various cancer cell lines. These compounds may have therapeutic value and provide novel insights into the regulation of autophagy protease ATG4B.
Host: Paul Pryor
Dr Ketteler’s Lab is interested in the regulation of cancer signaling pathways. They employ high-throughput screening and novel biomolecular tools to investigate growth factor signaling cascades and to identify therapeutic targets for anti-cancer strategies.
Location: Biology Lecture Theatre (K018)
Telephone: 01904 328876