Cell membrane characterisation

Lead Chief Investigator: Sonia Henriques, Queensland University of Technology

Collaborating Chief Investigators: David Craik, Glenn King, Kate Jolliffe



Our overarching goal is to understand how bioactive peptides can recognise and cross cell membranes of targeted cells. Traditional drugs are non-specific and reach all sorts of cells by crossing their cell membranes. This project focuses on identifying unique features in cell membranes of healthy versus diseased cells, and how these features control the ability of peptides to enter cells. This knowledge will be used by CIPPs members and the wider research community to design bioactive peptides able to selectively bind and cross the cell membrane of target cells, to improve selectivity and efficacy. This will result in better therapeutics with fewer side effects to improve human and animal health.


Relevance to the Centre

This project fits with the decode theme. With this project we will characterise composition and biophysical properties of cell membranes, and how these properties modulate cell membrane targeting and permeability of peptides. This knowledge will be of extreme relevance to design peptides that can cross cell membranes and reach relevant intracellular targets (develop theme). In addition, we will be able to build more relevant in vitro models and assays to screen cell permeation, than the currently available PAMPA. This project involves collaboration between CI Henriques, AI Blanksby, CI Craik, CI King, CI Jolliffe, and CIPPS postdoctoral research staff.