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Megan Shipton

DPhil Student

My research focuses on making mimics of inositol polyphosphate signalling molecules. I intend to use these mimics to investigate the inositol binding sites of the enzyme histone deacetylase 3 (HDAC3) and the inositol trisphosphate receptor (IP3R).
HDAC3 is one of the enzymes that regulates gene expression. This is a target of interest because abnormal HDAC3 activity has been associated with many diseases including several cancers and neurodegenerative diseases.  

It was recently discovered that there is an inositol tetrakisphosphate binding site in an HDAC3-corepressor protein complex. One of the goals of my project is to synthesise inositol polyphosphate mimics to fit into this binding site to investigate binding and activation. Ultimately, I will aim to rationally design mimics that are able to disrupt protein-protein interactions from this site.
IP3R is responsible for initiating intracellular calcium signalling. The other aim of my project is to synthesise mimics of inositol polyphosphates to act as agonists and antagonists at this site.
I am a graduate student at Green Templeton College carrying out a DPhil in Pharmacology in the Potter lab.