Things still not going according to plan …

I ended last time saying Shubhash had saved the day by finding a better virus stock and growing up some more cells for me. Sadly, this did not work – still no expression. So we tried halving the amount of virus used, as using too much can infect too many cells leaving not enough making Read More …

Pull down of XIAP with type I & II receptors. Tm shifts of M4K Pharma compounds with Alk2, Alk5 and RIPK2.

XIAP and its interaction with type I and type II receptors. Having spent time over the past few weeks purifying all the components needed for a pull down with XIAP, I did the experiment that looked for interactions between XIAP and various type I and type II receptors in both the un-phosphorylated and phosphorylated form. Read More …

A bad day in the lab – science never goes as expected!

I promised to post again today with an update on in-house screening of my hit for fragment screening, but sadly, there’s nothing to update, as yesterday turned into a litany of disappointment (not to be too much of a drama queen!). First, I started a fresh purification of ACVR1 to prepare for setting up new Read More …

Various purifications, and a few crystal hits

Gosh, it’s been a while since I posted – not because I have nothing to report, but because I’ve been super busy in the lab trying to get things done, as well as having loads of meetings and a symposium. So, in the meantime, I’ve done two purifications of ACVR1 and set up crystal plates, Read More …

Protein purification and Tm shift experiments.

Purification of proteins for a pull down experiment between XIAP and various type I and type II receptors. XIAP is known to bind to the kinase RIPK2. RIPK2 is one of the few kinase proteins that shows overlap of reactivity to some of the compounds that we’ve been looking at in the context of ALK2 Read More …

Determining the EC50 of Tracer-6908 with ACVR1/ALK2-NanoLuc

In nanoBRET assay, a fluorescently labelled tracer binds to the ATP-binding pocket of ACVR1/ALK2. This binding brings the tracer into the proximity (<10nm) of Nano-Luciferase which is fused to the C-terminus of ACVR1/ALK2. Bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET) occurs where the energy released by Nano-Luciferase is transferred to the fluorophore via intermolecular forces. Nano-Luciferase and Read More …

The power of hope and community action: FOP family and friends conference – 19 May 2018

After the disappointment of looking through ~13000 crystal drop images over the past couple of weeks and finding pretty much nothing in most of them and nothing that actually diffracted nicely in the rest, it was incredibly heartwarming and hugely inspiring to attend the FOP family and friends conference in Manchester last weekend. FOP Friends is Read More …

Structure deposition of ALK2 structures and structural analysis of ALK2/FKBP12 complex with PK010710 and PK012055

Deposition: In the past two weeks my work has mostly been full of dealing with structures. The first thing I needed to do was deposit some structures of ALK2 co-crystallised with three drug molecules that I had solved for our collaborators Swen Hoelder and Liam Hudson at ICR, who had been developing compounds against ALK2. Read More …

Purification and co-crystallisation of TGFBR1 (ALK5) and FKBP12 with five ATP-competitive ALK2 inhibitors – so much disappointment

As you are probably aware by now, if you’ve read a few of my blogs, we are testing ATP competitive inhibitors to inhibit ALK2 but not any of the other 6 ALK family members. Thus, most of our activity and cellular assays test ALK2 as well as ALK5 activity in order to check the specificity Read More …

Crystal mounting of ALK2 with FKBP12 and six compounds with subsequent data collection

One of the more unpredictable parts of crystallography is also one of the most fundamental – will the protein crystallise? Despite decades of work done on protein crystallisation, and numerous ‘tricks of the trade’ to maximise the chances, whether a protein will actually form a crystal is still relatively random.  With ALK2 we’ve crystallised it Read More …