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New inhibitors for mitochondrial fission protein DRP1

New inhibitors for mitochondrial fission protein DRP1

PhD/Honours project

Mitochondria are dynamic organelles which continuously alter their shape by fusion (elongation) and fission (fragmentation). These processes are essential to maintain the organelle fidelity and cell viability. The mitochondrial fission protein, Drp1, has been shown to have a role in cancer and heart disease. Therefore, inhibitors of Drp1 are currently being sought as potential treatments for these diseases. Mdivi-1 is a small molecule inhibitor of Drp1 and has been shown to have a protective effect in various cellular injury models. However, Mdivi-1 is not a good drug as it has poor water solubility and lacks potency. This project aims to search for more potent Drp1 inhibitors. 

The knowledge and skills involved in this project are suitable for students who are interested in drug discovery, mitochondrial biology and pharmacology. A student working on this project will have the opportunity to learn various experimental skills, including; computational drug discovery, cell culture, western blotting and histology.

A. A. Rosdah, J. Holien, L. M. D. Delbridge, G. J. Dusting, S. Y. Lim, Mitochondrial fission – a drug target for cytoprotection or cytodestruction?, Pharma Res Per, 4(3), 2016, e00235, doi: 10.1002/prp2.235

Supervised by:

  • Dr Shiang (Max) Lim
  • Disease Focus:

  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Research Unit:

  • Cardiac regeneration