Development of peptide-based drugs

Development of peptide-based drugs

Alexandra Hauser-Kawaguchi
Development of peptide-based drugs

Student Researcher: Alexandra Hauser-Kawaguchi, PhD student, Western University

Project Title: Development of peptide-based drugs for the specific inhibition of RHAMM-HA interactions

Receptor for hyaluronan mediated motility (RHAMM) is one of the protein receptors for the carbohydrate, hyaluronan (HA). Expression of RHAMM by cells increases in times of cell stress, such as during aggressive breast cancer. The interaction between RHAMM and HA results in the activation of genes responsible for breast cancer metastasis. In this project, the goal is to stop the normal interaction between RHAMM and HA from occurring, and therefore, prevent the activation of genes responsible for cancer progression from occurring. We are developing peptide-based drugs that can mimic either RHAMM or HA and that bind their respective targets strongly, thereby preventing the protein and ligand from interacting with each other. Following probe design, we evaluate their stability, secondary structure, binding, and activity in order to identify the peptides with the greatest therapeutic potential in treating aggressive breast cancer

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