Developing chemical probes for inhibition and targeted degradation of the deubiquitinase USP9X in breast cancer

Cells have developed an intricate system called ubiquitination to control the quantity of certain proteins. As this is frequently hijacked in various cancers, the Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC) intends to inhibit components of ubiquitination with small molecules for therapeutic benefit. Partnership of the SGC with the cell biology expertise of Barsyte-Lovejoy group will allow for cellular investigation of new and specific compounds that can manipulate the ubiquitination machinery as an anticancer therapy. USP9X is a protein component of the ubiquitination machinery that promotes breast cancer development. In this proposed project, the student will focus on the ability of SGC-developed compounds to selectivity target USP9X in cells and assess if these compounds impair breast cancer tumourigenesis. This will lead to better understanding of USP9X biology and the possible development of a new therapeutic that expands SGC’s portfolio and efforts in probing the components of ubiquitination.

Matthew Maitland
Faculty Supervisor: 
Dalia Barsyte-Lovejoy
Partner University: