Researchers within the Reagents and Services (R&S) division of the MRC PPU and the MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research (CVR) have worked extremely hard since January in order to produce expression plasmids, proteins and sheep affinity purified polyclonal antibodies to all 28 proteins encoded for by SARS-CoV-2. In addition, they have generated equivalent reagents to 10 other proteins from related Coronaviruses.
Launching today, Tuesday 12th May, the COVID-19 Protein Portal allows UK scientists to access protein reagents for critical research relating to SARS-CoV-2. Protein reagents are provided free of charge by a consortium of leading protein production laboratories, in an Open Science initiative led by Wellcome and UKRI.…more
Despite the coronavirus lockdown, researchers from MRC PPU are continuing to attend online meetings, seminars and conferences to share ideas with researchers around the world. Last week, Nicola Darling, a postdoctoral researcher in Philip Cohen’s lab, moderated the Health and Sustainable Development session at the Third Central Asian Research Forum on Sustainable Development and Innovation that involved researchers based in or from Kazakhstan.
University of Dundee researchers are studying a protein that aids the spread of COVID-19 in the hope of finding ways of blocking its function.
Mutations in genes encoding PINK1 (PTEN-induced kinase 1) are a leading cause of autosomal recessive early-onset Parkinson’s disease. PINK1 is a protein kinase that is activated upon mitochondrial damage to phosphorylate Ubiquitin and Parkin to stimulate Parkin E3 ligase activity and is a master-regulator of mitochondrial quality control. In 2015 Yu-Chiang Lai and Chandana Kondapalli of the Muqit lab found that PINK1 can also induce phosphorylation of a subset of Rab GTPases including Rab8A and Rab1B at a highly conserved Serine111 residue via an unknown intermediate kinase. …more
Life may be dominated by COVID-19, but we are still pleased to see that our protocol for utilizing human peripheral blood neutrophils for research into the Parkinson’s disease associated LRRK2 kinase has been published. Activating mutations in the LRRK2 kinase cause 1-4% of all Parkinson’s disease syndromes worldwide and new targeted therapies such LRRK2 kinase inhibitors aiming at disease modification rather than symptom control are currently being investigated in clinical trials. …more
New research by Greg Findlay’s group in the MRC-PPU has identified a signalling system that controls embryonic stem cell development, which has implications for understanding how tissues form within the mammalian embryo. The paper, by Rosalia Fernandez-Alonso and Francisco Bustos, post-doctoral investigators in Greg’s lab, uncovers a new role for the EPH-Ephrin system in regulating stem cell differentiation. They also identify a molecular switch within the EPH-Ephrin system that distinguishes stem cells from differentiated cells, enabling them to be sorted into distinct populations, a key initiating event in tissue formation.…more
Miratul Muqit has been elected to the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE), Scotland’s National Academy. The 2020 intake of Fellows join the current roll of 1600 and are elected from a wide range of disciplines including physical and life sciences, arts, industry, and public life. Election to the Royal Society of Edinburgh recognises both excellence and impact in research.
A pioneering collaboration between the UK Dementia Research Institute (DRI) and the Medical Research Council’s Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit (MRC PPU) will use the very latest advances in technology to study rare cell populations and the role of proteins in diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.