Chemistry Seminar

Chemistry Seminar: Laurie Parker - University of Minnesota

Date & Time:

Friday, November 7, 2014
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM


OWS 251
University of St. Thomas
2115 Summit Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55105

Dr. Laurie Parker of the University of Minnesota will present on her current research.

Measuring kinase signaling using chemical biology

Our research program is broadly directed at assay development for post-translational modifications (PTMs), with a focus on protein phosphorylation by tyrosine kinases. Protein tyrosine kinases play key roles in disease and are particularly important in cancer: mutations in several protein tyrosine kinase genes have been identified as drivers of many tumor types and drugs targeted at inhibiting these enzymes represent ~20% (>$9 billion) of the current oncology market. We use a “decoy” substrate biosensor approach in which an artificial, optimized substrate peptide is designed to report the activity of a specific enzyme in living cells. Delivery is achieved using cell-penetrating peptides, and enzymatic modification is measured using a range of readout strategies—some that require extraction of the cell contents and some that leave the cell intact. Targeting the function of the enzyme in its intracellular environment preserves protein-protein interactions, localization, and scaffolding-dependent activation, and decoy substrates provide a snapshot of enzymatic activity that circumvents the need for pre-knowledge of every endogenous substrate site. We also develop multiplex-compatible readouts, so we can use a suite of biosensors for different enzymes in order to profile pathways. We have established our approach and laid the groundwork of a substrate development workflow to expand our repertoire of biosensors for kinases and other enzymes. Long term, our lab will maintain a pipeline of biosensor and read-out technology development while also taking an active role in studying signaling biology with our tools.

Dr. Parker is a 2000 graduate of the Chemistry Department.

All programs offered by the University of St. Thomas shall be readily accessible to individuals with disabilities. For details, call (651) 962-6315.