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Development of SIMPL, a novel protein-protein interaction assay based on split intein for biomedical research

2015 Disruptive Innovation in Genomics Competition
Genome Centre(s):
Ontario Genomics
Project Leader(s):
Igor Stagljar (University of Toronto)
Fiscal Year Project Launched: 
Project Description: 

Phase 1 Project

Every cell in the human body contains proteins. Indeed, proteins control every function of every cell in our body. They are a major part of the skin, muscles, organs, glands and also body fluids. While carrying out the essential functions of our body, proteins never act alone; rather, they interact with many other proteins. These “contacts among proteins” are called protein-protein interactions (PPIs). Given the hundreds of thousands of proteins in our bodies and their complex interactions, gain or loss of PPIs can be the driving force behind disease development.

Dr. Igor Stagljar of the University of Toronto is leading a team to develop and implement a novel disruptive genomics technology that can detect and monitor PPIs in human cells, irrespective of the part of the cell in which a protein is found. This technology can be used to identify novel proteins as components of many essential cellular processes, leading to greater understanding of the role of specific proteins in our cells. Furthermore, the technology also has the potential to identify drugs that disrupt a defined set of PPIs when the PPIs cause human disease rather than health.