Structure and function of the COMMD protein family.

In collaboration with Dr Fiona McDonald, University of Otago

The family of proteins known as the COMMD proteins are thought to be involved in carcinogenesis and tumour progression. As well as a general role in cancers associated with chronic inflammation through their interaction with the transcription factor NF‑κB, they may be specifically involved in prostate cancer progression and in some lymphomas. The aim of this project is to determine the atomic structures of these proteins in order to understand the way in which they function, and to structurally and functionally characterise macromolecular complexes of COMMD proteins interacting with NF-κB. Our long-term aim is to understand the molecular details of COMMD protein inhibition of NF-κB, with the aim of designing modulators of these interactions as therapeutic agents.