Lead Chief Investigator: Sonia Henriques, Queensland University of Technology
Collaborating Chief Investigators: David Craik, Elizabeth New
Many therapeutic targets (e.g. cancer targets) are located inside cells, but not all can be reached and/or inhibited by traditional therapeutics. Peptides are a class of molecules that combine the high binding affinity of biologics, and some of the biophysical properties of small molecule drugs. However, there are challenges in translating peptides into therapeutics able to inhibit a target inside cells, in particular peptides often get trapped inside endosomes and unable to reach the cytosol where protein targets are located. Our overarching goal it to screen, design and optimise bioactive peptides so they can be developed to reach targets of interest inside cells.
Relevance to the Centre
This project fits with the decode theme. With this project we will identify peptide features that are important to escape endosomes and reach the cytosol. This knowledge will be of extreme relevance to design peptides that enter cells and reach relevant intracellular targets (develop theme). In addition, we will develop screening assays and design dyes that can help identify and quantify intracellular location of peptides. This project involves collaboration between CI Henriques, CI Craik, CI New, and CIPPS postdoctoral research staff.