TAT-tagged active AKT1 variants for delivery to mammalian cells
The oncogenic kinase AKT1 is a prime therapeutic target, but its function cannot be easily researched as AKT activation in cells requires stimulation of cells with an unspecific growth factor that alters all cellular signaling. I designed a new method to deliver an already activated, phosphorylated AKT1 protein to cells that do not require the use of unspecific kinase activation or cell-damaging costly transfection reagents. I will produce a highly pre-activated AKT1 protein fused to a cell-penetrating peptide, combining genetic code expansion strategies with a novel method for protein delivery. Recombinant AKT1 can already be purchased from several companies, and I anticipate that the market for AKT1 proteins that are not only enzymatically active but can be easily delivered to cells, will be of similar or greater commercial interest.