University of Dundee

Latest News for 12/2019

November 2019

  • Clockwise from top left: Dr Andrea Testa, Dr Scott Hughes, Dr Jane Wright &  Dr Xavier Lucas with macroPROTAC
    27 Nov 2019

    Researchers in the Ciulli group report a first study describing the idea of a macrocyclic PROTAC. The research was published in the prestigious chemistry journal Angewandte Chemie. PROTACs (for proteolysis-targeting chimeras) are double-headed molecules composed of a ligand for a target protein and a ligand for an E3 ubiquitin ligase, chemically joined by a flexible linker. The PROTAC simultaneously recruits the target protein and the E3 ligase into close proximity, and this leads to the target protein being destroyed inside the cell.

October 2019

  • Alessio Ciulli at Galien Foundation
    29 Oct 2019

    School of Life Science’s Professor Alessio Ciulli was amongst a selected group of world’s leading expert scientists and key opinion leaders who spoke at the Galien Forum on October 24, 2019, at the Alexandria Center in New York City. Alessio’s panel, entitled ‘Drugging the Undruggable with Novel Approaches to Small Molecule Design’, was chaired by Pfizer’s Chief Scientific Officer and President, Worldwide Research, Development and Medical, Mikael Dolsten.

August 2019

  • Hannah Tovell
    29 Aug 2019

    Hannah Tovell a PhD student in Dario Alessi lab working in collaboration with Claire Crafter (AstraZeneca) and Alessio Ciulli and Andrea Testa in his lab have elaborated a compound that we have termed SGK3-PROTAC1 that induces selective degradation of SGK3 protein kinase. Hannah was able to show that SGK3-PROTAC1 suppressed proliferation of ZR-75-1 and CAMA-1 cancer cell lines treated with a PI3K inhibitor (GDC0941) more effectively than could be achieved by a conventional SGK isoform inhibitor (14H), underscoring the benefit of the PROTAC approach.

July 2019

  • Professor Alessio Ciulli
    08 Jul 2019

    The University of Dundee has announced a new partnership with Eisai, one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical companies, aiming to create innovative new drugs for the cancer field. The collaboration combines the world-leading PROTACs expertise and technology of Professor Alessio Ciulli from the Division of Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery in the School with Eisai’s discovery research and clinical development experiences in oncology.

June 2019

April 2019

  • Overview of the HaloPROTAC method to induce post–translational knockdown or endogenous proteins
    15 Apr 2019

    Hannah Tovell an Alessi lab PhD student working closely with the Ciulli lab has published an improved HaloPROTAC method to induce post–translational knockdown of endogenous proteins.  This approach makes use of CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing technology to introduce a Halo tag onto the N or C terminus of any desired target protein that can then be targeted for degradation by a HaloPROTAC probe (see Figure). 

March 2019

  • Professor Alessio Ciulli
    27 Mar 2019

    In an article in the journal Nature, Megan Scudellari reflects on the short history of PROTACs -  a new type of drug design that is galvanising the Pharmaceutical industry, with the first PROTAC drug from Arvinas about to enter phase-1 clinical trials.

January 2019

October 2017

  • 10 Oct 2017

    Researchers in the laboratory of Professor Alessio Ciulli have designed a small molecule that tricks a particular E3 ubiquitin ligase protein to destroy another of its kind. E3 ligases act like ‘molecular assassins’ in cells as they naturally tag unwanted proteins for cellular degradation. There are believed to be over 600 E3 ligases in the human cell and many are involved in human diseases, providing many attractive targets for drug discovery.

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