Nerve damage from neurodegenerative disease and spinal cord injury has largely been considered irreversible, but Dartmouth researchers report progress in the effort to synthesize rare natural products that promote regeneration and growth of injured nerve cells.
Neurotrophins, or proteins that promote the development of neurons, have been investigated as potential therapeutic agents, but they have a variety of drawbacks. A group of small molecule natural products, however, possesses potent neurotrophic properties without some of the shortcomings of protein-based agents.
Unfortunately, a source of suitable quantities of these substances to enable thorough medicinal exploration has yet to be identified. As such, the development of synthetic processes to generate molecules in this class (and related unnatural analogs) is critically important to establish science capable of fueling the discovery of therapeutic agents within the class.
That said, many member of this natural product class boast very complex carbocyclic structures that have stood as substantial challenges to modern synthetic chemistry.
Now, Dartmouth researchers have discovered that one of their recently discovered chemical reactions is capable of delivering some of the most potent and rare members of this natural product class.
Their pursuits resulted in the laboratory preparation of three neurotrophic natural products in the class and demonstrated the first application of their new carbocycle-forming reaction in natural product synthesis.
In addition to these accomplishments, the researchers' study also led to the discovery of a new radical cascade reaction process that proved instrumental for completing their laboratory syntheses of these complex agents.
"Advances of this nature are critically important for defining a foundation of science necessary for advancing rare natural products as therapeutic agents," says co-author and principal investigator Glenn Micalizio, the New Hampshire Professor of Chemistry at Dartmouth College.
"Simply stated, without a synthetic means to access such agents, development of therapeutics based on their structure would not be possible. While other syntheses of natural products within this class have recently been reported by others, our current achievement defines a unique synthesis pathway that could be employed to prepare synthetic analogs not easily accessed by others. Also, this marks the first successful application of our chemical method for hydrindane synthesis in the context of natural product synthesis."
The findings appear in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. A PDF is available on request.
The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health.
Professor Glenn Micalizio is available to comment at Glenn.C.Micalizio@dartmouth.edu.
Broadcast studios: Dartmouth has TV and radio studios available for interviews. For more information, visit: http://communications.
John Cramer | EurekAlert!
Bioenergy cropland expansion could be as bad for biodiversity as climate change
11.12.2018 | Senckenberg Forschungsinstitut und Naturmuseen
How glial cells develop in the brain from neural precursor cells
11.12.2018 | Universitätsmedizin der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...
What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.
Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...
Scientists at the University of Stuttgart and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) succeed in important further development on the way to quantum Computers.
Quantum computers one day should be able to solve certain computing problems much faster than a classical computer. One of the most promising approaches is...
New Project SNAPSTER: Novel luminescent materials by encapsulating phosphorescent metal clusters with organic liquid crystals
Nowadays energy conversion in lighting and optoelectronic devices requires the use of rare earth oxides.
Scientists have discovered the first synthetic material that becomes thicker - at the molecular level - as it is stretched.
Researchers led by Dr Devesh Mistry from the University of Leeds discovered a new non-porous material that has unique and inherent "auxetic" stretching...
10.12.2018 | Event News
06.12.2018 | Event News
03.12.2018 | Event News
11.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
11.12.2018 | Materials Sciences
11.12.2018 | Information Technology