Using novel tools to inhibit challenging targets

BY

Ralph Minter, Senior Director, Antibody Discovery and Protein Engineering, R&D and Chris Phillips, Associate Director, Structure and BioPhysics, Discovery Sciences, R&D

DARPins are small antibody-like molecules that can help us examine biology inside a cell. In new research published in Nature Communications, our scientists and collaborators describe the first known KRAS selective DARPins. KRAS, a gene that acts as an on/off switch in cell signalling, is an important oncogene.

In this vlog, AstraZeneca scientists, Ralph Minter and Chris Phillips, explain the importance of their research for drug discovery. Watch the videos below to understand their findings and the implications for furthering our biological understanding of this important target.

Introducing DARPins

Here, Ralph explains what DARPins are and why they are a useful tool in drug discovery:

 

 

The importance of collaborating

This research was the result of a long-standing collaboration, both internally among different groups across R&D and externally with the group of Terry Rabbitts at the MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, Oxford University. Ralph and Chris explain why this approach was fundamental to the success of the research:
 

 

The research findings

Listen to Ralph and Chris describing the findings of the research:
 

 

The implications of the research

Our scientists discuss the implications of the research and how it can help us advance drug discovery:
 

 

This paper builds upon research the team published in 2017 that advanced our understanding of RAS biology through the identification of DARPins that had the ability to bind to the inactive state of the RAS protein and lock it in the ‘off’ state. Read more.