More protein purification and some fine screens

As mentioned in my last post, I got 26 mg of ACVR1 on my last purification (as shown in my Zenodo log here). This is fabulous as it has allowed me to follow up a number of conditions for crystallisation. In particular, one of these hits was in G10 of my composite screen. I’ve therefore Read More …

Lots of protein now! A massive composite screen and a few crystal hits

Now that our workhorse ACVR1 construct is expressing again, I’m getting loads of protein – 26 mg on the last 3 L scale up! Because of this, I’ve been really busy in the lab trying to get things back up to speed again. While waiting for the ACVR1 to work, I purified some TGFBR1 (ALK5) Read More …

Structure Solution for BMPR1B/FKBP12 complex bound to M4K2009.

Structure Solution for BMPR1B/FKBP12 complex bound to M4K2009. Good news everybody! From the crystals I sent to the Diamond Light Source (a synchrotron, or particle accelerator, that gives very high quality x-rays) last week, I got a data set for BMPR1B/FKBP12 with M4K2009 bound to it! This is one of the compounds that the M4K Read More …

Determining the dual luciferase ALK5 IC50 values of 30 legacy ACVR1/ALK2 inhibitors

A large number of ACVR1/ALK2 inhibitors were previously synthesised by Paul Brenner’s team (Target Discovery Center, University of Oxford) for the purpose of treating Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva (FOP). Although these compounds were not designed with blood-brain-barrier permeability in mind, they can serve as good bench-marks for my cellular assays. Therefore, 30 of these legacy compounds Read More …

Presenting a poster at the annual Medical Sciences Division DPhil Day

Every summer my department holds a special mini-conference for the DPhil (aka PhD) students so that we can get to know each other and practice presenting our research. This year I took along a poster outlining my own project – Understanding the pathogenic mechanism of ACVR1 mutations in Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma – and presented Read More …

Virus titration and test expression of ACVR1 – some good news!

As I’ve mentioned in recent posts, our workhorse ACVR1 constructs have, for mysterious reasons, stopped expressing. This is clearly a massive problem, as with no protein we can not progress the project, and in the meantime, another DIPG patient has died, Aubreigh Nicholas, the 11-year-old girl who started the lemon face challenge. This is tragic, Read More …

Short form TGFBR1 (ALK5) purification and co-crystallisation with M4K2006 and M4K2089

In the absence of our “workhorse” protein, ACVR1 residues 208-499 (constitutively active Q207D mutant) (as we are still trying to work out why it won’t express at the moment), and the complete lack of crystals/diffracting crystals for the TGFBR1/FKBP12 complex, I have shifted to some other constructs we have to keep things moving. I had Read More …

Still no protein, and no diffraction from TGFBR1/FKBP12 crystals, but outreach is fun!

I’m sad to report that a couple of test expressions later, we’re still no wiser as to why ACVR1 isn’t expressing. It’s worked on a couple of small scale expression test plates, but just doesn’t want to scale up anymore. We may be looking at having to remake the virus. In the meantime, I had Read More …

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 …