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Inhibition of Cancer by Disrupting Interaction Between Polo-like Kinase 1 Polo-box Domain and Spindle Targets

Final Activity Report Summary - PLK1 INHIBITION (Inhibition of Cancer by Disrupting Interaction Between Polo-like Kinase 1 Polo-box Domain and Spindle Targets)

The main goal of this project was to attract and retain a young scientist working in United States to return and establish a research facility in Lithuania. As a result of the project, the Facility of Molecular and Cell Biology was established at the Laboratory of Biothermodynamics and Drug Design at the Institute of Biotechnology, Vilnius, Lithuania. The scientist, Jurgita Matuliene, has returned to Europe, brought extensive experience from her work at the University of Minnesota.

The Marie Curie grant enabled the researcher to start a new research theme - active compound testing in live mammalian cells and determination of therapeutic methods during drug design at the laboratory. The institute did not carry out research in this field prior to the scientist's return. Together with the help of EU structural funds and Lithuanian Science and Studies Foundation, new equipment and research reagents were purchased. Four permanent staff positions were established and supported by Lithuanian state budget. The scientist taught a number of personnel and students the methods of cell biology.

One of the main tasks of the scientist was to produce proteins-drug targets in prokaryotic and eukaryotic systems for the design of novel inhibitors that could become drug candidates with anticancer activities. As a result of the project, a group of novel inhibitors were designed, synthesised, and tested to be active against human cancerous cells. Two patent applications were submitted. Though numerous testing will be necessary before a drug candidate may be made, the beginning was successful, largely due to Marie Curie International Reintegration grant.