Mechanisms of Wnt secretion and transport

Mechanisms of Wnt secretion and transport

Project details

Wnt proteins play a vital role in various cell processes, including differentiation and migration. As lipophilic molecules, Wnts require carrier proteins to maintain solubility outside cells. The exact interaction mechanism between Wnts and these carrier proteins remains unknown. Additionally, other extracellular proteins regulate Wnt signaling through interactions and modifications of Wnt proteins. Understanding these processes and their regulation will ultimately help discover new therapeutic targets.

This project will employ cryo-electron microscopy, x-ray crystallography, and complementary techniques to investigate Wnt complexes with extracellular proteins, such as afamin, serum albumin, and Notum, to enhance understanding of their interactions and regulatory functions.

About our research group

The Glukhova laboratory aims to understand the molecular details of cell signalling pathways involved in cell development, fate determination, and polarity. Specifically, we are interested in understanding the molecular details of the Wnt pathway due to its relevance in cancer. However, due to the extreme complexity and importance of Wnt signalling for normal tissue homeostasis, its safe and selective targeting remains a challenge. 

The Glukhova laboratory is combining cryo-electron microscopy and x-ray crystallography with biochemical, biophysical and pharmacological assays to gain insights into the atomic-level details of individual proteins as well as large complexes involved in Wnt signal transduction. Such detailed understanding is crucial for the development of novel therapeutics and improving those already in clinical trials. 


Email supervisors



Dr Alisa Glukhova

Dr Alisa Glukhova in a laboratory
Laboratory Head

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