Protein-protein interactions

A range of approaches has been developed to modulate protein-protein interactions, both with designed small molecules and biomolecular probes.

Protein-protein interactions regulate huge numbers of processes within the body and underpin the majority of biological activity. However, much of what controls these interactions is unknown. Molecules which could inhibit protein-protein interactions have the potential to modulate disease progression, and therefore the ability to design such molecules could have huge therapeutic power.

Inhibiting protein-protein interactions

Protein-Protein Interaction Research in Leeds

PoPPI- Perturbation of Protein-Protein Interactions

PoPPI is a £3.4 million five-year collaborative programme, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), between the ​University of Leeds; University of Bristol; Northern Institute of Cancer Research (Newcastle University); AstraZeneca; Domainex.

The programme focuses on the development of computational and chemical tools to classify protein-protein interactions (PPI) and use the resultant insight to synthesize molecules, which act as selective inhibitors and, which can be used as chemical probes. Understanding and modulating the PPIs will increase the knowledge of the underlying mechanisms of diseases, such as cancer and the neurodegenerative diseases, e.g. Alzheimer’s, Huntingdon’s and Parkinson’s.

Leeds led National Network

The Protein-Protein Interactions Network (PPI-Net see: is a National Network for Protein-Protein Interactions that started in April 2011. The Network was jointly funded by Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC), Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), and the Medical Research Council (MRC) from April 2011 to November 2013. It is led through a joint effort between Leeds University and Imperial College London. During the period of Research Council Funding a UK Landscape Document describing capability and activity in the area together with a UK Network map were developed. Legacy activities include an annual young researchers meeting and a PPI centric compound collection (~1500 compounds) that academic members of PPI-net can access for free; see press release and log-in page.

Translational funding for PPI research

1. Have target of interest, no compounds Development pathway 1, Funding Links #1
2. Have target of interest & compounds but willing to explore more Development pathway 2, Funding Links #2
3. Have target of interest & compounds/series to develop. No interest in other compounds. Development pathway 3, Funding Links #3
4. Non small-molecule project Development pathway 4, Funding Links #4