Cellular Probes and Diagnostic Agents for Post-Translational Modifications and Protein-Tyrosine Phosphatases
- Similar to NASA’s using of orbiters and spacecrafts to explore unknown plants in the mysterious universe, we are interested in developing small molecule/peptide-based probes to systematically dissect proteins involved in post-translational modifications in the human cell which are essential for the onset and relapse of diseases. We are also actively pursuing the design and synthesis of novel agents to detect those proteins that could serve as important biomarkers of diseases, being useful point-of-care diagnosis. Chemical Synthesis, Molecular Cloning, Biochemical Assays, Chemical Proteomics, Confocal Fluorescence Microscopy, FRET and Fluorescence Polarization in tandem with Mammalian Cell Assays are frequently pursued in our lab.
Therapeutics for Cancer, Inflammatory Disorders, Neuron Degeneration, and Spinal Cord Injuries
- Another important goal in our group is the development of therapeutics to treat human diseases. With our accumulated experience in drug development, we will carry out not only chemical synthesis but also in-house biological characterizations including cell assays and animal model studies. Recent examples include the Medicinal Chemistry-based Development of Small Molecules and Cyclic Peptides which possess enhanced cellular uptake but also improved affinity to classic protein-protein interactions such as p53-MDM2, Axin-beta-catenin, and new protein-protein interactions revealed by our studies on post-translational modifications and protein-tyrosine phosphatases.
Protein-based Targeted Precision Therapy
- Lastly, we are interested in pursing targeted delivery of drugs or imaging modality through proteins/antibodies. Other than small molecules, proteins possess enhanced specificity towards extracellular biomarkers and are also bio-degradable, thereby bringing in minimal toxicity to human bodies. Recent examples include our development of a novel class of antibody conjugates towards biomarkers HER2 (breast cancer) and CD19 (B-cell lymphoma), and the generation of protein fusions towards CXCR4 (T cells) or KV1.3 (ion channel, effector memory T cells). Molecular Cloning, Protein Expression, Conjugation, and Protein Engineering are the common research skills utilized for this research direction.
The Wang Lab is grateful to the following funding agencies for their support of our work!
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