Control of the Tumorigenic Signaling Pathways via Membrane-protein-targeted Peptide Assembly
Tumorigenic signaling pathways control multiple cellular functions that are central to tumorigenesis. Their importance in cancer cell proliferation, metastasis and cancer stem cell biology has been well recognized. Therefore, the tumorigenic signaling components are considered as the most promising targets for cancer therapy. Such opportunities also present important challenges, including the identification of druggable components of the pathway, and drug development for signaling control. We design and synthesize peptides for membrane-protein-targeted assembly as upstream regulators of tumorigenic pathways. The candidate synthetic peptides selectively bind to highly expressed membrane proteins localized on the plasma membrane of cancerous cells. The induced localized accumulation of peptides initiate molecular assembly into nanostructures adhering to plasma membrane. The formation of nano-biointerface regulates the spatial organization of membrane proteins. Through cytoskeleton, the activation of tumorigenic signaling pathways deactivates the core oncogenes repress cancer development.
Prof. Ye Zhang received BS in chemistry from Nankai University, Then she moved to Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) pursuing graduate study under the supervise of Prof. Weimin Dai. After receiving PhD in organic chemistry, she continued her research as postdoctoral fellow on Dye Sensitized Solar Cells at University of Turin, Italy and Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland. Two years later, she joined Prof. Bing Xu’s lab at Brandeis University in United States doing postdoctoral work on active soft matter. In 2015, she joined OIST as tenure track assistant professor leading the Bioinspired Soft Matter Unit.