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Posts tagged with "Chemical Biology"

  • Biological News

    CRISPR: The Latest Edition

    There’s a rather large breakthrough in CRISPR gene editing – yeah, another one – that has downstream implications for drug discovery. A group at the Salk Institute reports in Cell that they’ve found a way to do both loss- and gain-of-function without double-stranded DNA breaking. That’s quite different from the various… Read More
  • Chemical Biology

    HAT Inhibitors: Interpret With Care

    There are quite a few histone deacetylase inhibitors out there, from research tools to FDA-approved drugs. Those inhibit the enzymes that remove the acetyl epigenetic markers from histone proteins – but what about inhibitors of the enzymes that put them on? Those are histone acetyltransferases (HATs), and they’ve naturally been the subj… Read More
  • Chemical Biology

    Poke Holes Through Your Membranes. It’s Fun.

    The cell membrane – the fundamental architecture of living things, the foundation of how our very bodies are organized – is a major pain in the behind. I express this ungrateful opinion merely because over the years it has rejected entry to some of my best ideas for drug candidates, and I bear a grudge. Read More
  • Cancer

    Watch Your Covalent Drugs Carefully

    EGFR is a growth-factor receptor protein that’s well known as a cancer target, and there are a number of drugs that target its kinase activity in order to shut it down. But as is also well known, many cancer cells are rather genomically unstable, and throw off mutations constantly. One of the most common problems… Read More
  • Cancer

    There Are Probes, And There Are Probes

    A friend in the business called my attention to this paper, which is about another piece of the ubiquitination system that I was writing about here just the other day – in this case, the deubiquitinating enzyme Rpn11. There are a couple of classes of deubiquitinators – some of them use a cysteine in their… Read More
  • Biological News

    The Blind Watchmaker’s Workshop

    Did it have to be this way? I mean all of it – biochemistry, the molecules of life. More specifically, as proteins evolve and change, how many paths could they have taken that would have taken them to the same sorts of function? That’s a pretty hard question to answer, since we’re looking at a… Read More
  • Chemical Biology

    Tagging Fungi For Destruction

    Fungal infections can be very bad news when they go beyond the get-something-from-the-drugstore stage. That fact that a drug as rough as amphotericin B is still in use is evidence enough of that. There’s definitely a need for new ideas in the antifungal area, but drug discovery there has been tough. This new paper, though… Read More
  • Biological News

    Those Compounds Aren’t What You Think They Are

    There’s a lot of work in the literature on the TrkB receptor, which responds to brain-derived neutrotrophic factor (BDNF). That name certainly makes the ligand protein sound like a pretty big deal, and so it is: BDNF is involved in a lot of neural development pathways, injuries to nerve tissue, and the like, and given… Read More
  • Cancer

    What We Can Do, Versus What We Could

    I remember reading Barry Sharpless’ big “click” chemistry paper in 2001, where he proposed the term for reactions that take place rapidly, selectively, and without any outside reagents, and proposed such techniques for the rapid assembly of diverse molecules. In the years since, the term has drifted away a bit at times to mean … Read More
  • Chemical Biology

    A Tour of the Outer Precincts

    You know, in an odd way, I’m actually more optimistic about drug discovery than I was a few years back. It’s due to the new tools that we have in molecular and cellular biology that we didn’t have before, and it’s also the number of unusual and interesting approaches that are being taken on the… Read More
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