Cryo-electron microscopy of Wnt signalling complexes

Cryo-electron microscopy of Wnt signalling complexes

Project details

Wnt signalling is a fundamental signalling pathway that regulates cell fate, and is also associated with cancer. Wnts are protein messengers that signal through large protein complexes to regulate the levels of beta-catenin, which is both an adhesion molecule and a transcription factor that controls how cells move and divide. Mutations in beta-catenin or the proteins that regulate it often lead to cancer.  

This project will involve the expression and purification of recombinant proteins involved in the regulation of beta-catenin, reconstitution and / or immunoprecipitation of protein complexes, and visualisation of these complexes using state-of-the-art electron microscopy techniques. We aim to understand how the different components of these protein complexes interact and function to regulate beta-catenin levels in normal and cancerous cells. 


About our research group

The Glukhova lab is interested in understanding the structural mechanisms of Wnt signalling, an important pathway for cell development, differentiation, organogenesis, and cell polarity. Disregulation of Wnt in adults leads to pathologies in cell division, differentiation, and repair. Because of this, the Wnt signalling pathway is an important drug target for a variety of cancers. 


The Glukhova lab is interested in understanding the molecular-level details of different aspects of Wnt signalling, from Wnt maturation to signalling complexes at the membrane and formation of large multi-protein assemblies within the cells. The Glukhova lab employs molecular biology, biochemistry, biophysics, pharmacology, x-ray crystallography, and cryo-electron microscopy. This is a collaborative project with Dr Nadia Kershaw (Babon lab)

Email supervisors



Dr Alisa Glukhova

Dr Alisa Glukhova in a laboratory
Laboratory Head
Nadia Kershaw profile
Personalised Oncology division

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