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Novel protein interaction technology gets boost


Toronto, ON – Seeking to develop and commercialize a process to better understand membrane proteins in mammalian cells the Ontario Genomics Institute (OGI) is providing $100,000 through its Pre-commercialization Business Development Fund (PBDF) to the University of Toronto’s Mammalian Membrane Two-Hybrid (MaMTH) project.

Understanding how proteins react in the human body and their relationship to diseases is essential to the development of new and better targeted therapies as every process in a cell is affected by interactions between proteins.

Dr. Stagljar and his research team at U of T have developed a technology to analyze protein-protein interactions of mammalian integral membrane proteins. Membrane 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. They are difficult to study because of their chemical complexity and this translational research tool will allow researchers to study interactions between membrane proteins of interest and how they respond to various therapeutic compounds in the context of the human cell.

“This tool has the potential to improve drug development and expand the resources available to companies developing new therapeutics,” said Dr. Mark Poznansky, President and CEO, Ontario Genomics Institute. “Investment in projects like Dr. Stagljar’s, demonstrate OGI’s commitment to fostering a vibrant life sciences community in Ontario.”