Developing intracellular antibodies to trigger apoptotic cell death

Developing intracellular antibodies to trigger apoptotic cell death

Project details

Understanding apoptotic cell death is critical to developing new treatments that either enhance or block apoptosis in diseased cells. The point of no return in apoptosis is pore formation in the mitochondrial outer membrane. We recently found that certain antibodies to the Bak protein can trigger its activation leading to mitochondrial pore formation and cell death (Iyer et al, Nat Commun 2016 7:11734). 

To investigate if intracellular antibodies can be developed as novel anti-cancer agents, this project will electroporate, inject or express different anti-Bak antibodies into cancer cell lines and test for induction of cell death. The project will involve a range of biochemical approaches including cell culture, molecular cloning and flow cytometry (Alsop, Nat Comm 2015  6:6841).

 

About our research group

When apoptotic cell death goes wrong, the results are often cancer or autoimmune diseases. The Kluck laboratory aims to illuminate critical 'black boxes' in the apoptotic pathway. We focus how the killer Bak and Bax proteins irreversibly commit cells to die, and how these proteins are regulated. Understanding this process is critical to developing new treatments that either enhance or block apoptosis in diseased cells. Our research program uses biochemical, cell biological and structural approaches to examine Bak and Bax function (reviewed in Westphal, Biochim Biophys Acta 2011 813(4):521). 

Researchers:

Dr Ruth Kluck

Ruth
Dr
Ruth
Kluck
Laboratory Head
Dr Sweta Iyer in the lab
Dr
Sweta
Iyer
Molecular Genetics of Cancer division

Project Type: