Hot article round up for January

January can seem like an extra long month for many, with post-holiday blues and dark wintery evenings to contend with. However, the winter solstice has past, so the evenings are gradually getting lighter and here at the ChemComm Editorial Office we have published enough hot articles to keep the blues at bay. So why not take a look at the selection of hot articles below, which caught some of our referees attention…

  • Clostridium botulinum produces the most lethal toxins known to man and, as such, they are high-risk terrorist threats. Alarmingly, there is no approved therapeutic. Why not read Kim Janda‘s communication to find out about a small molecule he’s discovered that inhibits the neurotoxin.                                   
  • Matthias Beller and Anahit Pews-Davtyan synthesised a variety of substituted imidazoles from commercially available starting materials, via a hydroamination–cyclization sequence. Take a look at the communication to see the excellent yields obtained, helped by the presence of catalytic zinc triflate.
  • Enhanced white-light emission was achieved by cleverly loading green- and red-light-emitting donor–acceptor pairs in the separate micellar cores, and inserting blue-light-emitting polymers around their periphery. To find out more on how this system works, take a look at Juan Peng‘s communication.
  • Juyoung Yoon and her colleagues from Ewha Womans University, have developed a unique pyrene-based colourimetric sensor that changes colour, from light yellow to pink, in the presence of lysine. More details can be found in the communication.
  • An observation reported by Gerhard Erker in ChemComm has opened up a new way of utilising frustrated Lewis pair chemistry. To see what has been uncovered in more detail, download their communication today!
  • Andreas Herrmann and co-workers have made ultra-high molecular weight DNA/polymer hybrid materials using molecular biology techniques. Take a look at the communication and read more about this fascinating advance.
  • Molly Stevens and her colleagues have shown that peptide-modified gold nanoparticles can be enzymatically phosphorylated and rapidly aggregated onto a surface or in solution by action of phosphospecific antibodies. The simple and rapid colorimetric response of the assays makes them an attractive approach for drug-screening applications – so why not download the communication to find out more about this exciting research?
  • QM/MM mechanistic modelling has been used to help understand the role of carbamate reactivity in fatty acid amide hydrolase inhibition, as reported in Adrian Mulholland‘s latest communication in ChemComm.
  • Paul O’Brien reports slow temperature growth of crystalline PbS films on plastic substrates by Chemical Vapour Deposition using xanthate. Why not read the communication for further details on the method, as well as looking at the mechanism proposed by the team, with the help of density functional theory calculations.
  • Jeremy Sanders and Ulrich Lüning present the efficient synthesis of a new type of a multi-hydrazone based macrocyclic receptor and investigates its complexation properties with alkali and alkaline earth metal ions using a dynamic combinatorial approach. Read more by downloading the communication today!

All communications have been made freely available until the 7th March 2011, so why not download the ones that interest you today and let us know what you think in our blog below.

If you have some of your own exciting, high impact research to publish then consider submitting your communication to ChemComm, via our online submission system.

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4 Responses to “Hot article round up for January”

  1. Javeed says:

    CVD deposition of chalcogenide semicondcutors on plastic substrates is a novel concept. The idea behind this work was to produce thin films on flexible substrates for wide range of applications.

  2. Thank you for your comments Javeed and for clarifying the novel aspects of this work. It is indeed a nice result! I was wondering though, what future applications do you foresee using this flexible material?

  3. In our opinion, the real novelty of the work presented in this communication lies in its simplicity, both as a single-step assay and in terms of stabilizing peptide-coated nanoparticles in a simple way, which until now has been a real challenge for researchers. It is paradoxical that it is relatively simple to develop a complicated assay but it is far more difficult to make an assay simple; much more thought has to be put into the design, mechanism, transduction etc. The fact that our assay works in a similar format both on a surface and in solution lends flexibility to this approach. Also, the concept is extendable to any other similar biosystem which makes it generic.

    This communication is the culmination of knowledge from years of experience in the Stevens’ group http://www.stevensgroup.org/research.php. We devote a significant part of our research activity to the design and realisation of innovative, rapid single-step assays for a variety of diagnostic challenges in diseases such as cancer and for global health. Other areas we are interested in include regenerative medicine, tissue engineering, cell material interfaces, and study of live cells using micro-Raman spectroscopy. We take inspiration from the complex self-assembly processes that occur in nature to develop materials that can be dynamically controlled under physiological conditions. Since our new materials can respond to subtle changes in the body they could have tremendous potential in future nanodevices, biosensors and drug delivery systems.

  4. Alessio Lodola says:

    Comments on C0CC04937A (Mulholland et al):
    We think there are two important aspects to this work. First, the results suggest how an important, pharmaceutically relevant, class of enzyme inhibitors, could be made more potent and selective in vivo for a current drug target. Second, they illustrate the growing practical importance of modelling mechanisms of reaction of covalent inhibitors in proteins (e.g. with QM/MM methods). Carbamates are widely employed as pharmacological tools and therapeutic agents to inhibit various hydrolytic enzymes, including fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), a promising target for the treatment of central nervous system disorders, including pain, anxiety and depression. Once bound close to the catalytic residue (e.g. a serine nucleophile), carbamates can undergo nucleophilic attack, leading to enzyme carbamoylation and thus deactivation.
    Carbamates are a highly versatile class of covalent inhibitors, because their intrinsic reactivity can be easily tuned by chemical manipulation. For instance, in the case of O-biphenyl-3-yl carbamates, it is possible to enhance chemical (and metabolic) stability simply by introducing electron-donor substitutions in conjugated positions. This increases the electron density around the carbonyl carbon, limiting its reactivity with any nucleophile. However, while the introduction of electron donor groups (e.g. p-OH, or p-NH2), significantly improves the stability of O-biphenyl-3-yl carbamates versus nucleophiles including liver and plasmatic carboxylesterases, the same substitution does not affect FAAH carbamoylation.
    This unexpected lack of correlation between reactivity and FAAH inhibitory potency for these O-biphenyl-3-yl carbamates might be due to the “unique” catalytic mechanism of FAAH. Mechanistic modelling of FAAH carbamoylation in presence of the cyclohexylcarbamic acid biphenyl-3-yl ester URB524 and its p-OH (URB694) p-NH2 (URB618) analogues show that FAAH is insensitive to the intrinsic reactivity of the carbamate group, as the crucial transition state of the reaction is dominated by a proton transfer and not by a nucleophilic attack.
    This finding could help in the development of a new generation of “stabilized” carbamate inhibitors that, while retaining good in vitro potency for FAAH, would display longer half-life in plasma, making them significantly more potent in vivo (and more selective vs off-target carboxylesterases) than current inhibitors.
    We also think it is important to stress the growing usefulness of modelling reaction mechanisms of covalent enzyme inhibitors by computational techniques that explicitly account for the reactivity of the compounds under investigation. Hybrid QM/MM methods are becoming important: they have the potential to provide detailed and predictive information for the design of covalent inhibitors, and understanding of their mechanisms, for drug design and development. Another example of their use was in the successful prediction of FAAH-inhibitor complex structures (see http://www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/News/2010/May/26051001.asp )

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