Understanding the way proteins shapeshift

University of Leeds secures £5.4 million grant to identify new techniques for investigating and manipulating the chemical building blocks of life - proteins.

The five-year project - in collaboration with the University of Oxford - will lead to a better understanding of fundamental biochemical processes and will identify new research strategies for tackling cancer and other diseases.

The research project will investigate how a protein called Aurora-A is controlled by interactions involving IDRs. Aurora-A plays a role in several cellular processes that are relevant to human disease, including cell division, gene expression and the function of a hair-like projection from the cell surface called the primary cilium. 

The involvement of Aurora-A in each process is dependent on a different shape-shifting protein interacting with it, but it is unclear how most of these interactions serve to control Aurora-A or how these different roles are coordinated.

Aurora-A is of major interest of Richard Bayliss, Professor of Molecular Medicine at Leeds and a co-investigator on the research project.

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