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https://engineering.wustl.edu/news/Pages/Toolkit-underway-at-WashU-may-give-researchers-insight-into-cancer.aspx731Toolkit underway at WashU may give researchers insight into cancer<p>​By studying the effects of a biochemical process on protein function, Kristen Naegle, a biomedical engineer at Washington University in St. Louis, hopes to identify new therapeutic interventions for cancer.<br/></p><img alt="Kristen Naegle" src="/Profiles/PublishingImages/Naegle_Kristen.jpg?RenditionID=1" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><div id="__publishingReusableFragmentIdSection"><a href="/ReusableContent/36_.000">a</a></div><p><a href="/Profiles/Pages/Kristen-Naegle.aspx">Kristen Naegle</a>, assistant professor of biomedical engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science, has received a three-year, $610,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute to create a toolkit that will allow biomedical engineers to study the effects of tyrosine phosphorylation, which becomes dysregulated in cancer. The toolkit would be a fast, inexpensive and accessible way for researchers to produce phosphorylated and soluble proteins compared to current methods.</p><p style="color: #000000; font-family: "times new roman"; font-size: medium;"></p><p>Phosphorylation is a process through which a phosphate group is added to a protein by an enzyme called a kinase. It is important in regulating cell signaling but is difficult to study, Naegle said.</p><p style="color: #000000; font-family: "times new roman"; font-size: medium;"></p><p>The funding will allow Naegle’s lab to compare the function of phosphorylated forms of protein domains that are involved in signaling networks with an unphosphorylated form and study their relation to cancer.</p><p style="color: #000000; font-family: "times new roman"; font-size: medium;"></p><p>“We see these phosphorylation sites popping up in cancer and see them regulated by drugs we give to cancer patients,” she says. “It suggests that phosphorylation of these domains is involved in cancer progression. There are enough cancer patient samples to suggest that this is going to be relevant to human health as well as to basic human development.”</p><p style="color: #000000; font-family: "times new roman"; font-size: medium;"></p><p>Naegle has a patent pending on the technology and is working with the university’s Office of Technology Management.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/news/PublishingImages/Kristen%20Naegle%20Proteins%20WashU%20Engineering%20amino%20acid%20substitution.png" class="ms-rtePosition-4" alt="" style="margin: 5px;"/><br/></p><p><br/></p><SPAN ID="__publishingReusableFragment"></SPAN><br/>Kristen NaegleBeth Miller2017-10-10T05:00:00ZBy studying the effects of a biochemical process on protein function, Assistant Professor Kristen Naegle hopes to identify new therapeutic interventions for cancer.

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