ACVR1 Crystals taken to the Diamond Light Source (Beamline I04.) – no data sets collected.

Following up on the crystals from my last post I sent them along on the last Diamond trip we had to beamline I04 but regrettably didn’t get any usable datasets. Perhaps fortunately there is a possible explanation for this that isn’t just ‘the crystals were a bit too rubbish’. We send our crystals to the Diamond Read More …

Re-Purification of ALK2 for crystallisation with different compounds from M4K.

I’ve been lucky enough to have a student (Mira) in the lab working with me for the past few weeks and so I’d like to write about the work that we’ve been doing together. We spent some time cleaning up an old sample of ALK2 that Ros had left over in the freezer to set Read More …

The Benefits of Conference attendance: BMP Signalling in Cancer II.

I’ve got a few things to catch up with on the blog – one of them is to talk about a conference I attended in Oxford recently. I attended the Biochemical Society BMP Signalling in Cancer II meeting which was held in St. Annes College, Oxford. At this meeting I presented a poster on the Read More …

Determining whether bespoke tracers work with ALK5 in nanoBRET target engagement assay

Special thanks to: David Drewry – Helped with designing the nanoBRET tracers M4K pharma OICR chemist team – Synthesised the M4K1046-linker derivatives Carrow Wells (UNC) – Conjugated the M4K1046 to nanoBRET fluorophore Background: I have always wanted to establish nanoBRET target engagement assay for ALK5. Relative to dual luciferase promoter assay and immunofluorescent staining, nanoBRET Read More …

Synthesis of promiscuous ALK2 inhibitors

In a collaboration between SGC-University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and M4K Pharma, we plan to synthesize 3 different imidazopyridin pyrazines as promiscuous kinase ALK2 inhibitors, compounds 1-3, Scheme 1. The first step will be the synthesis of key intermediate 10, Scheme 2.  The proposed synthesis begins with a nucleophilic aromatic substitution on compound 4 to Read More …

Phosphorylation over time and phosphomapping experiments to investigate the influence of ALK2 mutations on activity.

In this post I’d like to return to looking at my work on phosphorylation. Phosphorylation is a key signalling method for activating the BMP pathway and inducing activity. Specifically activation of ALK2 by phosphorylation leads to phosphorylation of SMAD1 which leads to gene transcription that ultimately is responsible for bone formation. In this post I’m Read More …

Checking I haven’t got my cells mixed up…

Did you know as many as 30% of the cells in labs could be misidentified? And what a nightmare it would be to find out years of your work are just completely wrong because you got your skin cells mixed up with your brain cells… So to avoid that catastrophe, I took some time to Read More …

ZFYVE9C purification and association test with TGFBR1 and TGFBR2

ZFYVE9C (Otherwise known as SARA) is a scaffold protein involved in the association of various protein components as part of the TGFB signalling pathway. The equivalent in the BMP signalling pathway is a protein known as Endofin so studying SARA (which is slightly easier) might give us useful insights for both proteins. For more details Read More …

Three new ALK2 structures, one of them not the one I thought!

I’ve not posted in a while, mainly because things have been really busy, but good busy, as I now have 3 new datasets/structures, of ALK2 with M4K2118, M4K2149 and, amazingly, M4K2009. As you know, this is our lead candidate, which until now has not behaved very well in crystal trials, and it hasn’t been possible Read More …