The molecular recognition and function of the TGFβ1 – neuropilin interaction: a computational, biophysical and biological study.

David Selwood (primary)
Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research
Snezana Djordjevic (secondary)
Institute for Structural and Molecular Biology


Immune targeting agents are transforming the treatment of cancer. We have identified the TGFβ1 – NRP1interaction as an important signaling axis in controlling the immune response to tumours. This project works out the details of the molecular interactions for TGFβ1 – NRP1using computational, biophysical and cell biology methods. The results will provide fundamental knowledge important in the development of new therapies for cancer.


1 Nissen JC, Selwood DL, Tsirka SE. Tuftsin signals through its receptor
neuropilin-1 via the transforming growth factor beta pathway. J Neurochem. 2013
Nov;127(3):394-402. doi: 10.1111/jnc.12404. PMID: 24033337.
2 Miyauchi JT, Chen D, Choi M, Nissen JC, Shroyer KR, Djordevic S, Zachary IC,
Selwood D, Tsirka SE. Ablation of NRP11 from glioma-associated microglia
and macrophages slows tumor progression. Oncotarget. 2016 Mar 1;7(9):9801-14.
doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.6877. PMID: 26755653.
3 Powell J, …Djordjevic S, Tsirka SE, Zachary IC, Selwood DL. Small Molecule Neuropilin-1 Antagonists Combine Antiangiogenic and Antitumor Activity with Immune Modulation through Reduction of Transforming Growth Factor Beta (TGFβ1) Production in Regulatory T-Cells. J Med Chem. 2018 May 10;61(9):4135-4154. doi:10.1021/acs.jmedchem.8b00210. PMID: 29648813.
4 Mota F, Fotinou C, Rana RR, Chan AWE, Yelland T, Arooz MT, O’Leary AP, Hutton
J, Frankel P, Zachary I, Selwood D, Djordjevic S. Architecture and hydration of
the arginine-binding site of neuropilin-1. FEBS J. 2018 Apr;285(7):1290-1304.
doi: 10.1111/febs.14405. PMID: 29430837.

Genes, development and STEM* approaches to biology
Area of Biology
Cell Biology
Techniques & Approaches
BiochemistryBioinformaticsBiophysicsMathematics / StatisticsMolecular BiologySimulation / Modelling