Hi! I´m Alina, I´m a third-year pharmacology undergraduate and due to the current circumstances, I am working on a summer project from home. For the last four weeks, I have been writing a review investigating the role of POPDC1 in the progression of cancer. The POPDC1 protein (Popeye domain containing protein) is a membrane-bound, tight junction-associated protein, that is one of the five known proteins activated by cAMP. POPDC1 proteins act as tumour suppressors by maintaining cell adhesion and inhibiting cell proliferation and metastasis.
However, POPDC1 expression is downregulated in many types of cancer and therefore may play a key role in driving progression of the disease.
This makes POPDC1 proteins an interesting potential target for developing new anti-cancer drugs. Hence, the next part of my project will aim to develop a short peptide that can bind to the cAMP binding site within the conserved intracellular POPEYE domain. The idea behind it, is that stabilising the PODPC1 protein in this way could preserve it´s tumour-suppressive actions and help slow or even stop the progression of malignancies.
Obviously, this type of summer project requires a lot of screen time: online meetings with my project supervisor, a LOT of reading of articles and papers, taking notes, writing the review, and working with modelling software. But countless cups of tea are keeping productivity high and daily walks along Aberdeen beach cure all manners of square-eyed-syndrome!