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Posts tagged with "Chemical Biology"

  • 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
  • Chemical Biology

    Ignoring the Literature, Selectively

    Very little time for blogging today (travel), but I wanted to pass on some words of wisdom from Kevan Shokat, from a recent Perspectives piece in Nature Reviews Cancer. Talking about chemical probes, and how to know if they’re valid enough to work with, he suggests that you need to see dose-response data (for one… Read More
  • Cancer

    MTH1: From Hot Topic to Devalidation?

    Here’s an argument that’s been going on inside the oncology drug development world over the last few years: is the enzyme MTH1 a great cancer target or a complete waste of time? MTH1, also known as NUDT1, degrades phosphates of 8-oxoguanine, an oxidized form of the regular guanine that cells know and love. That enzymatic… Read More
  • Cancer

    How to Know When a New Target is Really a New Target

    This is an excellent article, and the title is self-recommending: “Common Pitfalls in Preclinical Cancer Target Validation”. The abstract speaketh the truth: An alarming number of papers from laboratories nominating new cancer drug targets contain findings that cannot be reproduced by others or are simply not robust enough to justify dr… Read More
  • Biological News

    Thinking About Genetics and Disease

    Robert Plenge has an excellent post here, drawing on this recent paper from authors at Stanford. It’s on the idea of polygenic traits and disease, a very worthwhile subject considering what’s going on in the drug industry these days. I say that because I’ve been making the joke, for some time now, that if you were… Read More
  • Biological News

    Making Sure of the Chemistry in Chemical Biology

    There are a lot of interesting and useful experiments you can do to test interactions with DNA in the living cell. Chromatin Immunoprecipitation Sequencing (ChIP-Seq) is a well-known one to spot protein-DNA interactions, and the graphic at right (from the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics) will show you broadly how it works. Proteins that are inter… Read More
  • Cancer

    Palladium Couplings – Inside Living Cells

    I only have time for a short post this morning, but here’s a technique that I had never thought about: palladium-catalyzed drug synthesis inside the target cells. There have been a few reports of activation of prodrugs via intracellular Pd catalysis (such as this one), but it seems like a real challenge to get both… Read More
  • Biological News

    A Look at Antibody Therapies

    Since we were just talking about antibody therapies in immuno-oncology, here’s a timely column by Bruce Booth at LifeSciVC on antibody therapies in general. It’s well worth a read if, like many small-molecule drug discovery folks, you haven’t had to keep up with that area. I’ve written a few times over the years about how… Read More
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