Measuring protein interactions, thousands at a time
A-Alpha Bio, Inc. was founded in 2017 as a spinout from the University of Washington's Institute for Protein Design and Center for Synthetic Biology. The company's technology exploits mating between MATa and MATα yeast strains to detect protein-protein interactions. By knocking out the endogenous proteins that bring the two strains together and expressing proteins of interest on cells of each strain, the company can quantitatively conduct high-throughput measurements of pairwise protein-protein interactions. The company is also using the system to find "molecular glue" compounds that recruit E3 ubiquitin ligases to targets of interest in order to tag them for degradation.