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.

Tarana Siddika
Faculty Supervisor: 
Ilka Heinemann;Patrick O’Donoghue
Partner University: