Resource | Mollie's Blog No 13
Meet the Scientists
It has been almost a month now since I have given you an update on how my project is progressing. With just 4 months to go now until my time at MRC PPU comes to an end, I am really keen to push forward with the project and squeeze in as much science as I can before I finish.
The last month has involved a lot of repetition of the same experiments to show the results are reproducible and convincing. These initial cell-based experiments have created a strong foundation to now hit the ground running. After giving a lab meeting on Friday to give an update of my findings, I have had lots of interesting and useful input to guide me with what steps are best to take next. The lab meetings create an open environment in which researchers take it in turns to present their work and get feedback from their colleagues. I have found this collaborative approach a really effective way of improving the quality of the science produced and a great way to share knowledge and skills. So, after my presentation on Friday, I have received lots of hints and tips to tuck up my sleeve for my project.
My cell-based experiments have implied that the protein phosphatase known as PP1 (a phosphatase is a protein that can remove the small chemical PO42- tag from other components within cells) is able to act upon phospho-Ubiquitin. Now I am going to be using an in-vitro assay (this is where you conduct a biological process in an artificial and controlled setting -vitro meaning glass) to hopefully show this activity is direct. It is important to remember that in cell-based assays there are numerous other factors in the cell that might be influencing the process you are trying to observe. By taking only the components you believe to be involved in the pathway, you reduce the number of variables markedly, allowing you to investigate the activity of your protein of interest very specifically. From this assay we should be able to conclude, without a doubt, whether PP1 is able to remove the phosphate tags (PO42-) directly from ubiquitin.
I am very much looking forward to moving on to these new experiments and learning more skills. Hopefully, now that the groundwork is completed, I will really get some extra momentum with my project and make lots of progress in my final 4 months.
It was to my great excitement, that this week our lab has submitted a new scientific paper on which I have been named a contributor - a very very very small contributor but I am still over the moon. I am immensely grateful to have been given the opportunity to add something to this work and would like to extend my gratitude to MRC PPU, with particular thanks to my supervisor Professor Muqit, for giving me the fantastic opportunity to work in the lab this year