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 …

Determining the nanoBRET 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 …

Determining the IC50 of M4K1062 with ACVR1/ALK2-NanoLuc and different concentrations of Tracer-6908

The EC50 of Tracer-6908 with ACVR1-c-nanoLuc and ideal conditions for the target engagement assay have been determined in a previous experiment. However, it is still necessary to verify that the IC50 values determined in the assay are closed enough approximation to the actual IC50 values of the compounds. If the IC50 values are strongly influenced 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 …

Attending the first ever CRUK London Brain Tumour Conference

Hello there! This week I won’t be filling you in on my latest experiment, because instead I spent three days at the first ever Cancer Research UK Brain Tumour Conference held in the Royal Society of Medicine in London! (Also the biggest conference I’ve been to so far). The conference gathered over 30 great speakers Read More …

Determining the suitability of C2C12 and HEK293 in dual luciferase assay (DLA) for ACVR1 (ALK2) and TGFBR1 (ALK5)

Aside from having high potency towards ACVR1/ALK2, inhibitor compounds ideally should be highly selective and not target other members of the Transforming Growth Factor beta (TGFb) superfamily. TGFBR1/ALK5 is selected for off-target screening because of its potential role in cardiac functions. Firefly luciferase is transcribed downstream of ACVR1/ALK2 in BRE reporter plasmid and downstream of TBFBR1/ALK5 in CAGA reporter plasmid. Renilla luciferase is constitutively transcribed Read More …

Transfectability of different patient-derived DIPG and Glioblastoma cell lines

Whether or not a cell line can be transfected efficiently is an important factor to consider when designing experiments. Often times scientists would like to deliver into the cells DNA or RNA with the instructions to produce specific proteins or to delete away specific proteins. Transfection via liposome (eg: Lipofectamine 2000) is a relatively simple Read More …

Determining whether anti-phospho-SMAD1/5 and anti-phospho-SMAD2 antibodies can recognize formaldehyde-fixed epitopes

Kinase activity of ALK2 and ALK5 in the cells can be quantified using specific antibodies that bind to target proteins once they are phosphorylated. However, conventional detection in Western blot requires large amount of samples and processing time (proteins are extracted from a large number of cells, linearized, separated in electric field and blotted onto a Read More …

Efficacy of inhibitor on wild-type ALK2 and R206H mutant in C2C12 cells (by DLA)

There are concerns that compounds that are effective in inhibiting ALK2 by occupying its ATP-binding pocket might have reduced efficacy against mutant ALK2. That will be undesirable since the compounds should also target the gain-of-function mutant ALK2 in DIPG cells. The following experiment takes advantage of the fact that Activin A activates ALK2-R206H mutant but Read More …