Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors


Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Boron-based compounds trick a biomedical protein

Shih-Yuan Liu
Shih-Yuan Liu

Abstract:
University of Oregon chemists, biologists team to boost boron's expanding use in medicine

Boron-based compounds trick a biomedical protein

Eugene, OR | Posted on September 2nd, 2009

Chemists and biologists have successfully demonstrated that specially synthesized boron compounds are readily accepted in biologically active enzymes, a move that, they say, is a proof of concept that could lead to new drug design strategies.

In June 2008, University of Oregon chemist Shih-Yuan Liu reported in the Journal of the American Chemical Society his lab's synthesis of boron-nitrogen compounds with electronic and structural similarities to fundamentally important benzene molecules. That synthesis suggested a new tool for possible use in biomedical research as well as in materials science.

What Liu's lab created were benzene surrogates known as 1,2-dihydro-1,2-azaborines that possess electron-delocalized structures consistent with aromaticity -- a core concept in chemistry where rings of atoms exhibit unexpected stability.

Now, in the Sept. 1 issue of Angewandte Chemie, a weekly journal of the German Chemical Society, Liu and colleagues show that their synthesized compounds indeed are accepted in non-polarized hydrophobic pockets of a well-studied enzyme, a member of the lysozyme family discovered by Alexander Fleming in 1921 and used widely in biomedical research.

The "proof of concept" was completed in the Institute of Molecular Biology lab of the UO physicist Brian W. Matthews, where Liu's synthesized compound was treated with T4 lysozymes, crystallized and examined with high-resolution X-ray crystallography.

"I feel this is a fairly big step forward," Liu said. "Our compounds bind efficiently to the T4 lysozyme and behave as hydrophobic arene molecules similar to natural systems. Our compound actually has polar features, so it was questionable that it would bind to the enzyme's hydrophobic pocket, but it did and very similarly to the way carbon molecules would bind."

In essence, Liu and colleagues have potentially put boron, a commonly occurring essential nutrient in plants -- but seemingly "bypassed by nature in evolution" of other living things, Liu said -- into play as an alternative to carbon in manufacturing target-specific pharmaceuticals. The use of boron in the biomedical field is not new but its acceptance has been hampered by instability, but interest has risen in the last decade, Liu said.

An analysis of boron's medical potential appeared in the February issue of EMBO Reports. Boron is being studied by a number of drug manufacturers. It currently is used as an antibacterial drug component and as part of a therapy for multiple myeloma. The advance by Liu's lab strengthens the case that boron-based molecules can be used as new pharmacophores, or as markers of drugs in living tissue, and to improve long-stymied attempts to develop boron-neutron capture therapies to produce inhibiting agents for cancer treatment.

"This research provides the first experimental evidence that enzymes in our bodies cannot distinguish between our artificial compound versus the all-carbon systems," Liu said. "We can trick the enzymes to believing they are accepting the real thing."

The National Institutes of Health funded the research. Co-authors were Liu's chemistry doctoral student Adam J.V. Marwitz, Matthews and Lijun Liu, a research associate in the Matthews lab.

####

About University of Oregon
The University of Oregon is a world-class teaching and research institution and Oregon's flagship public university. The UO is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), an organization made up of the 62 leading public and private research institutions in the United States and Canada. The University of Oregon is one of only two AAU members in the Pacific Northwest.

Contacts:
Media Contact: Jim Barlow, director of science and research communications, 541-346-3481

Source: Shih-Yuan Liu, assistant professor of chemistry, 541-346-5573;

Copyright © University of Oregon

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Nanoparticle versus cancer: Scientists have created nanoparticles which cure cancer harmlessly July 22nd, 2016

Quantum drag:University of Iowa physicist says current in one iron magnetic sheet can create quantized spin waves in another, separate sheet July 22nd, 2016

New Yale-developed device lengthens the life of quantum information July 22nd, 2016

RMIT researchers make leap in measuring quantum states July 21st, 2016

The future of perovskite solar cells has just got brighter -- come rain or shine: Korean researchers at POSTECH have succeeded in developing high-efficiency perovskite solar cells that retain excellent performance over two months in a very humid condition July 21st, 2016

Chemistry

New reaction for the synthesis of nanostructures July 21st, 2016

Pushing a single-molecule switch: An international team of researchers from Donostia International Physics Center, Fritz-Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society, University of Liverpool, and the Polish Academy of Sciences has shown a new way to operate a single-molecule switch July 19th, 2016

Rice's 'antenna-reactor' catalysts offer best of both worlds: Technology marries light-harvesting nanoantennas to high-reaction-rate catalysts July 18th, 2016

Researchers improve catalyst efficiency for clean industries: Method reduces use of expensive platinum July 8th, 2016

Wireless, wearable toxic-gas detector: Inexpensive sensors could be worn by soldiers to detect hazardous chemical agents July 4th, 2016

Synthetic Biology

'Green' electronic materials produced with synthetic biology July 16th, 2016

Researchers harness DNA as the engine of super-efficient nanomachine: New platform detects traces of everything from bacteria to viruses, cocaine and metals July 10th, 2016

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Quantum drag:University of Iowa physicist says current in one iron magnetic sheet can create quantized spin waves in another, separate sheet July 22nd, 2016

Weird quantum effects stretch across hundreds of miles July 21st, 2016

Scientists glimpse inner workings of atomically thin transistors July 21st, 2016

The birth of quantum holography: Making holograms of single light particles! July 21st, 2016

Nanomedicine

Nanoparticle versus cancer: Scientists have created nanoparticles which cure cancer harmlessly July 22nd, 2016

Research examines how to optimize nanoparticles for efficient drug delivery July 21st, 2016

Renishaw's inVia™ confocal Raman microscope is used to study blood stored in plastic blood bags July 19th, 2016

Keystone Nano selected as a top scoring company by NCI investor review panel July 19th, 2016

Announcements

Nanoparticle versus cancer: Scientists have created nanoparticles which cure cancer harmlessly July 22nd, 2016

Quantum drag:University of Iowa physicist says current in one iron magnetic sheet can create quantized spin waves in another, separate sheet July 22nd, 2016

New Yale-developed device lengthens the life of quantum information July 22nd, 2016

Graphene photodetectors: Thinking outside the 2-D box July 21st, 2016

Nanobiotechnology

Nanoparticle versus cancer: Scientists have created nanoparticles which cure cancer harmlessly July 22nd, 2016

New reaction for the synthesis of nanostructures July 21st, 2016

Research examines how to optimize nanoparticles for efficient drug delivery July 21st, 2016

Keystone Nano selected as a top scoring company by NCI investor review panel July 19th, 2016

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







Car Brands
Buy website traffic