Many discoveries are made by chance, but it is also possible to help it along: The chance of finding something interesting increases when the number of experiments rises. French researchers have now applied this principle to the search for new chemical reactions.
In the journal Angewandte Chemie, they have introduced a new concept based on antibodies and a “sandwich” immunoassay.
Is there any value in randomly mixing substances together like an alchemist to see what happens? When it is carried out systematically and on a large scale, this promising approach, known as high-throughput screening, has become an established technique used in the search for pharmaceutical agents and catalysts.
This concept is now being applied more broadly to the search for novel types of chemical reactions, particularly in the search for new, easier, faster, or more elegant synthetic pathways for natural products, specialty chemicals, and drugs.
French scientists led by Frédéric Taran (Institute of Biology and Technology, Saclay, iBiTec-S, Gif-sur-Yvette) have now developed a new immunoassay-based approach to searching for new coupling reactions that link two organic molecules together.
Reactants A and B are added to the wells of a microtiter plate. In some wells, various transition metals are added as possible reaction promotors. Reactant A carries a marker that is recognized and bound by antibody AK1; reactant B carries a marker for antibody AK2. If a coupling occurs, the product has both markers. After the reaction, the solutions are transferred to new plates that are coated with AK1. After a washing step, only molecules with a binding site for AK1 remain on the plate.
A solution of AK2 is next applied, followed by another washing step. Wherever AK2 binds, a product must be present that carries both markers – the result is a “sandwich” in which the product is the filling between two antibody “slices” of bread. Successful reactions are made visible by an enzyme that is bound to AK2 and causes the color to change to yellow. Wherever the color is clearly yellow, the reaction product is analyzed to determine if the reaction that formed it is of a known type or is previously unknown.
In order to prove that this concept works, the researchers examined 2260 reactions in parallel. The reactants they selected have both conventional and unconventional reactive groups. They were thus able to identify two new types of reaction promoted by copper: the reaction of thioureas to form isoureas and a cyclization reaction to form thiazole derivatives from alkynes and N-hydroxy thioureas.About the Author
Frédéric Taran | Angewandte Chemie
Cryo-electron microscopy achieves unprecedented resolution using new computational methods
24.03.2017 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
How cheetahs stay fit and healthy
24.03.2017 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy