How do proteins regulate cell behaviour?

Lead researcher

Professor Leon Bach, A/Professor Gregory Rice

The Alfred Hospital, Dept of Endocrinology; Monash University

Years funded

This project explores the behaviour of a protein in cancer cells. The results may lead to new treatments for cancer based on this protein.

Insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) are important proteins that regulate growth. When they are not regulated properly, diseases such as cancer can occur.

A family of IGF binding proteins regulated IGFs. In many situations, these IGFBPs inhibit IGFs and we have shown that one of these, IGFBP-6, can decrease growth of some experimental cancers.

As well as regulating IGFs, some IGFBPs appear to alter cell behaviour independently of IGFs. This project aims to study the IGF-dependent and -independent actions of IGFBP-6. We have made an IGFBP-6 molecule that does not bind IGFs to test for IGF-independent effects.

We will look at how this affects cell behaviour and use a very powerful new technology called proteomics to see which proteins in the cell are altered. This will give us clues as to how IGFBP-6 is working and may lead to the development of new treatments for some cancers.

Award / Duration

Research Grant: 2007-2009


$70,000 per annum for 3 years