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 …

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 …

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 …

Optimising seeding of normal and FOP cells for a later assay – prettier than expected

Further down the line I want to be able to test the activation of the BMP signalling pathway downstream of the ALK2 receptor. For this I plan to use the alkaline phosphatase gene as a readout – it’s a well known gene activated downstream of BMP signalling so a lot of easy to use assays Read More …

A new ALK2 structure, and proof that mistakes in the lab aren’t always a bad thing

Hello everyone and happy New Year! I really, really wanted to end the year on a high note in December before I went off on holiday, but as it turned out, I didn’t have enough time to set up 18 plates and write a blog post on the last day. So I’ll just have to Read More …

Determining the nanoBRET ALK2 IC50 values of 24 new ACVR1/ALK2 inhibitors

In an effort to develop clinical compounds for Diffused Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) treatment, new analogues of ACVR1/ALK2 inhibitors are continuously synthesised by Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) and Charles River Laboratories (CRL). I will provide prompt feedback of the cellular assay results to guide their design of new compounds. I determined the potency Read More …

Screening ACVR1 inhibitors on mutant and non-mutant ACVR1 DIPG cells – effectiveness may vary

Hi there! The last month of my life was taken over by making sure my PhD first year report was beautifully polished, but I have returned with results of a small compound screen: These are all compounds that Jong Fu has already tested with his assays so we know they effectively inhibit ACVR1, but I Read More …

Update on crystal hits, XChem and more purification

Things have been really busy in the lab the last few weeks. I’ve done a couple of purifications of ACVR1 (ALK2), which I’ll post in Zenodo (getting loads of protein now), but probably won’t write up the details of every purification every single time anymore, as it’s the same process every time for this construct. Read More …

Some structure pictures for your viewing pleasure

So I reported here a couple of weeks ago that I’d obtained datasets for ACVR1 bound to M4K2117 and M4K2121, at 1.25 and 2 Å resolution, respectively, and I put up a link to the data. I’m now refining the data and got some pretty good structures so far. These are what the current stats look Read More …