This research group will develop novel technology to load (brain) tumor cells with peptides targeting protein kinases, which are key regulator enzymes in cancer cells. They will implement their unique Exo-DNA technology, for efficient, easy, and reproducible loading of DNA into extracellular vesicles (EVs). The EVs will deliver DNA into cells and express therapeutic peptides, thereby preventing replication and/or inducing cell death. Using computer algorithms the researchers will design a set of peptide sequences that can interfere with different protein kinases and we will incorporate these sequences into EVs as well as in liposomes for comparative analysis. The team uses mass spectrometry to measure the peptides’ ability to interfere with kinases via measurement of the peptide’s phosphorylation. Death of glioma tumor cells, grown in 2D or as 3D organoids, is analyzed by microscopy.
Their technology will enable academic and industrial parties to improve knowledge on tumor biology, to identify kinase targets, and will provide Exo-DNA as a novel type of (brain) cancer therapy.