Chemical Biology

The compounds we make in the laboratory are often applied to areas of chemical biology. One major investigation involves the use of unnatural amino acids gained in our organocatalysis work as components of unnatural peptides which have discrete and reproducible folding properties (so called ‘foldamers’ : e.g. below). By understanding the rules linking constituent monomers vs secondary structure, it is hoped that there will be further gains in the understanding of the intimate relationship between sequence and structure.

Currently, we are involved with scientists at Reading to study the cell-penetrating ability of some unnatural peptides with stabilised secondary structures. Another chemical biology area we have been involved with is the use of non-natural nucleic acids to probe the epigenetic activity of an important immune system protein.

Related Publications

Rangam, G.; Schmitz, K.-M.; Cobb, A. J. A.; Petersen-Mahrt, S. K. PLoS ONE, 2012, e43279.

Fern, S. E.; Heath, P.; Cobb, A. J. A. Tetrahedron: Asymmetry, 2011, 22, 149.

Cobb, A. J. A. Org. Biomol. Chem., 2007, 5, 3260.