Supporting Master’s student in Prof Helen Walden’s laboratory
Project aims to determine USP30 structure to inform the design and discovery of novel inhibitors
Ubiquigent Limited (Ubiquigent), a drug discovery and development company harnessing novel deubiquitinase (DUB) modulators as new therapeutics for areas of high unmet medical need, today announced it is supporting a Master’s student at the University of Glasgow (UoG) to undertake a research project on USP30, a DUB implicated in neurodegenerative, renal, and cardiovascular diseases. Overseen by structural biology experts Professor Helen Walden, UoG, and Dr Mehmet Gundogdu, Principal Scientist at Ubiquigent, the project aims to combine biochemistry, in vitro complex protein assembly and protein crystallography to interrogate the mechanism underlying USP30 inhibition by selected proprietary compounds. As well as promoting fundamental research on this strategic enzyme, the project will enable Ubiquigent’s USP30 programme. The studentship is fully funded by Ubiquigent.
USP30 regulates the clearance of damaged mitochondria in a process called mitophagy. Dysregulation of mitophagy is closely linked to the development of several diseases, with USP30 modulation offering a potential treatment; USP30 inhibition, for example, has been proposed as a therapeutic strategy for Parkinson’s disease (PD). Although numerous USP30-targeting compounds are reported in scientific literature, only one has been approved to enter clinical evaluation so far, and the design and discovery of new compounds is hampered by a lack of a suitable USP30 crystal structure in the public domain. The project aims to overcome this barrier, bringing together the expertise of both groups to deliver a bespoke USP30 structural biology platform to identify novel inhibitors for treatment of a range of diseases including PD.