We are a Chemical Biology group that aims to address problems at the interface of chemistry and biochemistry, including the chemical synthesis and biosynthesis of bioactive peptides, peptide/protein functionalization and biological functions of non-coding RNAs.
Macrocycles Are Great Cycles!
Biologically active macrocycles represent a remarkably diverse group of molecules and are emerging as an exciting area of medicinal chemistry. Macrocycles in drug discovery are defined as molecules containing at least one large ring composed of 12 or more atoms. Many natural products have a macrocyclic core, suggesting that an evolutionary advantage may be associated with the production of secondary metabolites based upon these scaffolds. Our group is particularly interested in macrocyclic peptides from both natural and synthetic sources. We are engaged in elucidating Nature’s strategy to utilize various enzymes to produce cyclic peptide natural products. The chemistry evolved by Nature further guides us to develop synthetic methods for peptide macrocyclization and diversification, which would lead to library of peptide/peptidomimetics for screening bioactive compounds.
Chemical Mutagenesis of Proteins
The structural diversity of proteins is directly related to their biological functions. In nature, post-translational modification (PTM) is the key means by which non-proteinogenic amino acids are incorporated. Chemical modification of proteins has the potential to expand their function by mimicking PTMs. Methods for site-specific modification of proteins are invaluable in generating biological therapeutic agents, such as antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) and PEGylated biologics. We are aimed to develop new chemistry and bioconjugation reagents for the efficient and selective modification of proteins.
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