Hydrolases are enzymes that often play important roles in many common human diseases such as cancer, asthma, arthritis, atherosclerosis and infection by pathogens. Therefore tools that can be used to dynamically monitor their activity can be used as diagnostic agents, as imaging contrast agents and for the identification of novel classes of drugs. In the first part of this presentation, I will describe our efforts to design and synthesize small molecule probes that produce a fluorescent signal upon binding to tumor associated protease targets.
Spontaneous Formation of Oligomers and Fibrils in Large-Scale Molecular Dynamics Simulations of the Alzheimer’s Peptides
A series of new compounds, MAr2 (M = Ge, Sn, or Pb; Ar = terphenyl ligands) display structures and structural trends that are counter-intuitive with regard to steric effects. These trends are also reflected in their spectroscopic properties and in their reaction chemistry. It was found that the presence or absence of substituents at apparently-remote sites on the ligands can exert a large influence on the course of the reactions, as well as on the structural characteristics of the group 14 element environment.
Cells are poised to respond to their physical environment and to chemical stimuli in terms of collective molecular interactions that are regulated in time and space by the plasma membrane and its connections with the cytoskeleton and intracellular structures. Small molecules may engage specific receptors to initiate a transmembrane signal, and the surrounding system efficiently rearranges to amplify this nanoscale interaction to microscale assemblies, yielding a cellular response that often reaches to longer length scales within the organism.