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Posts tagged with "Chemical Biology"

  • Chemical Biology

    An Engineered Rhodium-Enzyme Catalyst

    I don’t know how many readers have been following this, but there’s been some interesting work over the last few years in using streptavidin (a protein that’s an old friend of chemical biologists everywhere) as a platform for new catalyst systems. This paper in Science (from groups at Basel and Colorado State) has some new… Read More
  • Cancer

    A Good Example of Phenotypic Screening

    I like to highlight phenotypic screening efforts here sometimes, because there’s evidence that they can lead to drugs at a higher-than-usual rate. And who couldn’t use some of that? Here’s a new example from a team at the Broad Institute. They’re looking at the very popular idea of “cancer stem cells” (CSCs), a p… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    Picosecond Protein Watching

    We’re getting closer to real-time X-ray structures of protein function, and I think I speak for a lot of chemists and biologists when I say that this has been a longstanding dream. X-ray structures, when they work well, can give you atomic-level structural data, but they’ve been limited to static time scales. In the old… Read More
  • Cancer

    JQ1: Giving Up a Fortune?

    The Atlantic is out with a list of “Brave Thinkers”, and one of them is Jay Bradner at Harvard Medical School. He’s on there for JQ1, a small-molecule bromodomain ligand that was reported in 2010. (I note, in passing, that once again nomenclature has come to the opposite of our rescue, since bromodomains have absolutely… Read More
  • Chemical Biology

    Zafgen’s Epoxide Adventure

    Zafgen is a startup in the Boston area that’s working on a novel weight-loss drug called beloranib. Their initial idea was that they were inhibiting angiogenesis in adipose tissue, through inhibition of methionine aminopeptidase-2. But closer study showed that while the compound was indeed causing significant weight loss in animal models, it… Read More
  • Chemical Biology

    EMBL Chemical Biology: Progress in Oncology

    This evening’s EMBL speaker is Paul Workman on new cancer targets and drug development. He’s pointed out that treating cancer (and classifying cancer) by where it’s located in the body is actually fairly primitive. Tumor cells in, say, breast cancer surely have more in common with various other type of tumor cells than they do… Read More
  • Chemical Biology

    EMBL Chemical Biology: The ChEMBL Database

    John Overington from the EMBL is talking about the ChEMBL database, which is an impressive collection. One thing that I appreciate is that he’s being upfront about the error rates in the data. He takes the reports of trouble seriously, but feels (overall) that considering the amount of data they have, and the amount of… Read More
  • Chemical Biology

    EMBL Chemical Biology: George Whitesides on Ligand Binding

    Now the conference day is winding up with a big talk by George Whitesides. He’s talking about his thoughts on enzyme function, with reference to his group’s work using carbonic anhydrase as a model. He praises its stability (“a ceramic brick”) and other characteristics, as you might expect from someone who’s published… Read More
  • Chemical Biology

    EMBL Chemical Biology: Greasy Labels

    Just to emphasize how careful you have to be with all these probes and labels, consider what I’m hearing now from Remigiusz Serwa of the Tate group at Imperial College. His group is looking at farnesylation. People have tried making azido-containing substrates, for later “click” fluorescent labeling of proteins that pick up the la… Read More
  • Chemical Biology

    EMBL Chemical Biology: How Receptors Really Work

    The latest talk is from Alanna Schepartz of Yale. I had a chance to ride in from the airport with her yesterday, and she gave me a brief preview of her talk, which is on transport of both molecules and information through the plasma membrane of cells. “Some molecules weren’t paying attention when Lipinski’s rules… Read More