Transfectability of different patient-derived DIPG and Glioblastoma cell lines

Whether or not a cell line can be transfected efficiently is an important factor to consider when designing experiments. Often times scientists would like to deliver into the cells DNA or RNA with the instructions to produce specific proteins or to delete away specific proteins. Transfection via liposome (eg: Lipofectamine 2000) is a relatively simple Read More …

Determining whether anti-phospho-SMAD1/5 and anti-phospho-SMAD2 antibodies can recognize formaldehyde-fixed epitopes

Kinase activity of ALK2 and ALK5 in the cells can be quantified using specific antibodies that bind to target proteins once they are phosphorylated. However, conventional detection in Western blot requires large amount of samples and processing time (proteins are extracted from a large number of cells, linearized, separated in electric field and blotted onto a Read More …

Efficacy of inhibitor on wild-type ALK2 and R206H mutant in C2C12 cells (by DLA)

There are concerns that compounds that are effective in inhibiting ALK2 by occupying its ATP-binding pocket might have reduced efficacy against mutant ALK2. That will be undesirable since the compounds should also target the gain-of-function mutant ALK2 in DIPG cells. The following experiment takes advantage of the fact that Activin A activates ALK2-R206H mutant but Read More …

Optimisation of ligand concentration for the activation of ALK2 and ALK5

ALK2 and ALK5 are Type I receptors on the cell surface that can be activated by specific ligands (illustrated in the diagram below). Once activated by ligand, ALK2 or ALK5 interact with Type II receptor to be phosphorylated (phospho-group chemically attached to the protein). Subsequently, ALK2 phorphorylates SMAD1/5/8 while ALK5 phorphorylates SMAD2. Phosphorylated SMADs then  Read More …

Project overview: Establishing Cellular Assays to Screen for ALK2 Inhibitors

Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) is a type of brain tumour in the brainstem which is highly aggressive and occurs in children. Treatment options for DIPG are very limited because these tumours do not respond to the chemotherapy drugs currently available for adult gliomas. Whole genome and exome sequencing identified several frequently mutated genes in Read More …