Mammalian Membrane Two Hybrid (MaMTH), an innovative technology for drug discovery


Competition: EXPLORE Program 2014
Funding: $300,000 / 2 years
Beginning: June 2015

Igor Stagljar and his team have worked over the last 12 years to understand how interactions among a special class of proteins, called membrane proteins, produce either healthy or diseased cells. These proteins, which make up approximately one-third of all proteins in a cell, are responsible for a variety of processes, making them attractive therapeutic targets for many diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, neurological disorders and various types of cancer. However, membrane proteins have been extremely difficult to study in the past because of their biochemical complexity. The research team has recently developed a novel translational research tool called MaMTH that allows researchers to study the interactions of any membrane protein of interest as well as understand how such protein interactions respond to various therapeutic compounds in the context of any human cell. The purpose of this research project is to modify MaMTH into a powerful new drug discovery assay that can be used for the unbiased discovery of small molecules that can disrupt protein interactions of any membrane protein of therapeutic interest.

Igor Stagljar

University of Toronto