Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Peptides-on-demand: McGill researcher's radical new green chemistry makes the impossible possible

26.02.2009
Fast and simple 'enabling technology' being offered to the world on open basis

McGill University chemistry professor Chao-Jun (C.J.) Li is known as one of the world leading pioneers in green chemistry, an entirely new approach to the science which eschews the use of toxic, petrochemical-based solvents in favour of basic substances like water and new ways of making molecules.

The environmental benefits of the green approach are obvious and significant, but following the road less travelled is also paying off in purely scientific terms. With these alternative methods, Li and his colleagues have discovered an entirely new way of synthesizing peptides using simple reagents, a process that would be impossible in classical chemistry. Their results will be published Feb. 27 in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS),

Peptides are short oligomer and polymer substances made up of two or more amino acids linked in a chain. Proteins – also known as polypeptides – are themselves composed of longer chains of peptides. Peptides are enormously important to biological and proteomic research, but classical chemistry provides no easy way to synthesize them, making the potential impact of this discovery very significant.

"Currently, to generate peptides you must use a peptide synthesizer, an expensive piece of high-tech equipment," explained Li, Canada Research Chair in Green Chemistry. "You need to purchase every single separate amino acid unit that makes up the peptide, and feed them into the machine one by one, which then assembles them. Every time you need a new peptide, you need to synthesize it individually from scratch."

Li's new process, by contrast, allows researchers to construct a single, simple "skeleton" peptide which can be modified into any other peptide needed with the addition of a simple reagent.

"If you want to make one peptide or 20 or even 100, you just use a different reagent each time," Li said. "If you use 20 different reagents, you get 20 different peptides."

"This could never have been discovered using the classical form of chemistry," he continued. "Every amino acid unit is very similar to every other one, and classical chemistry simply cannot differentiate one from the other."

The new method is considerably less expensive than traditional techniques, and can readily be adopted by labs anywhere in the world, Li said.

"This is really an enabling new technology," he added, "and since McGill has decided not to patent it, we're making our method available to everyone. We are paying the journal's open access fee, so anyone in the world can access the paper."

Mark Shainblum | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mcgill.ca

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Warming ponds could accelerate climate change
21.02.2017 | University of Exeter

nachricht An alternative to opioids? Compound from marine snail is potent pain reliever
21.02.2017 | University of Utah

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Impacts of mass coral die-off on Indian Ocean reefs revealed

21.02.2017 | Earth Sciences

Novel breast tomosynthesis technique reduces screening recall rate

21.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Use your Voice – and Smart Homes will “LISTEN”

21.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>