Cryo-electron microscopy of Wnt signaling complexes

Cryo-electron microscopy of Wnt signaling complexes

Project details

Wnt signalling is a fundamental pathway that regulates cell fate and is also associated with cancer. Wnts are protein messengers that signal through large protein complexes to regulate the levels of beta-catenin that control how cells move and divide. Beta-catenin-dependent signalling is initiated when Wnts bind to Frizzled receptors (and co-receptors), followed by recruitment of a protein called Disheveled. 

This project will focus on understanding this process using biochemical and structural methods. Specifically, this project will involve the expression and purification of recombinant proteins involved in the complex formation and visualisation of these complexes using state-of-the-art electron microscopy techniques. We aim to understand how these complexes come together to mediate the downstream regulation of beta-catenin. 

About our research group

The Glukhova lab is interested in understanding the structural mechanisms of Wnt signalling, an important pathway for cell development, differentiation, organogenesis and cell polarity. Disregulation of Wnt in adults leads to pathologies in cell division, differentiation and repair. Because of this, the Wnt signalling pathway is an important drug target for a variety of cancers. 

Specifically, the Glukhova lab is trying to understand the molecular-level details of different aspects of Wnt signalling, from Wnt maturation to signalling complexes at the membrane and formation of large multi-protein assemblies within the cells. Glukhova lab employs molecular biology, biochemistry, biophysics, pharmacology, x-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy. 

This is a collaborative project with the Kershaw lab. 

 

Email supervisors

 

Researchers:

Dr Alisa Glukhova

Dr Alisa Glukhova in a laboratory
Dr
Alisa
Glukhova
Laboratory Head

Dr Nadia Kershaw

Dr Nadia Kershaw
Dr
Nadia
Kershaw
Laboratory Head

Project Type: