Odilia Sianto

Interplay Between Protein Stability and Catalytic Activity in Kinases

Kinases are dynamic enzymes that carry out signal transduction in the cell. Many kinases rely on chaperones to protect them from unfolding and poise them for signaling. Chaperoning of kinases by HSP90/CDC37 has been shown to be critical for cancer cell growth and survival, and blocking this interaction could represent a new avenue of treatment for cancers. However, the biophysical nature of kinase chaperoning is not well understood. For my project, I plan to study the kinase BRAF, which, when mutated, is an important driver of oncogenesis and makes the kinase dependent on HSP90/CDC37 to protect it from degradation. In human cells, I will examine how other activating mutations affect BRAF chaperoning to understand how HSP90/CDC37 regulates client kinases. This work could reveal how mutations alter kinase structure to promote interaction with chaperones and inform the development of strategies to block this interaction therapeutically.

Message to Sponsor

I would like to express my gratitude to the Rose Hills Foundation for supporting this research project. This spring was my first significant experience conducting cutting edge research and I am extremely excited to continue working on this project over the summer. This opportunity will not only help me to further develop molecular biology laboratory skills, but also gives me the chance to contribute towards finding new scientific discoveries.
  • Major: Molecular and Cell Biology: Immunology and Pathogenesis
  • Sponsor: Rose Hills Foundation
  • Mentor: John Kuriyan