Heading up the project will be Prof Patrick Eyers, Dr Dominic Byrne and Prof Claire Eyers of University of Liverpool.
Tribbles (TRIB) pseudokinase are a family of proteins found in all animals. They are involved in determining how messages are relayed within and between cells - a process called 'cell signalling'.
TRIBS are involved in cancer cell proliferation, survival and drug-resistance, which together determine survival rates in cancer patients. TRIBs are involved in 'scaffolding' and activating (or inhibiting) protein kinases (enzymes), which help disseminate cellular messages through a chemical process called phosphorylation. In addition, TRIBs promote a different protein modification called ubiqutination, which makes target proteins less stable.
Current knowledge of TRIB proteins in the signalling 'network' is poor and the precise molecular mechanisms of TRIB cancer biology is not understood. In this study, the investigators will study and evaluate both of these types of processes.
It is hoped that this work will eventually lead to improved treatments for patients.