Preventing tumour progression
£83,152 in autumn 2013 over 3 years to the School of Chemistry, University of East Anglia
WWP2 is an enzyme involved in signalling within cells. It determines whether the cell will multiply by binding to other proteins and changing their behaviour. Several of the proteins it interacts with are involved with tumour formation and cell proliferation, and activating WWP2 can make cells multiply faster.
Big C has previously funded work on WWP2, and this new grant will fund a PhD student for 3 years to study WWP2 binding interactions. Binding can cause small or large changes in the shape of WWP2, and a technique called Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) can track these changes to give information about what WWP2 binds to and how this happens. Once this information has been collected, the next stage of the project will involve designing small molecules that will interfere with binding. Molecules that prevent binding could lead to new drugs that reduce or prevent tumour growth.