Top 10 Reviewers for Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry

In celebration of Peer Review Week, with the theme around Recognition for Review – we would like to highlight the top 10 reviewers for Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry in 2016, as selected by the editor for their significant contribution to the journal.

Name Institution
Professor Dean Tantillo University of California, Davis
Reviewer has requested to remain anonymous.
Dr Alakananda Hajra Visva-Bharati
Dr Concepcion Gonzalez-Bello CIQUS, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela
Dr Hiroshi Matsubara Osaka Prefecture University
Professor Jonathan Clayden University of Bristol
Dr Zhiyi Liu Houston Methodist Research Institute
Dr Rob Young GlaxoSmithKline
Dr Marco Di Antonio University of Cambridge
Dr Koji Hirano Osaka University

















We would like to say a massive thank you to these reviewers as well as the Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry Editorial and Advisory Boards and all of the Organic Chemistry and Chemical Biology community for their continued support of the journal, as authors, reviewers and readers.

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OBC Call for Papers – Macrocylces with bio-related applications

Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry is delighted to announce a call for papers for a themed issue on:

Macrocylces with bio-related applications

Guest Editors: Spiros Liras (Pfizer, USA), Andrei Yudin and Conor Scully (University of Toronto, Canada)

Deadline for Submission: 15 January 2017

OBC offers fast decisions and publication (average time from receipt to first decision for peer reviewed articles is 12 days for communications and 19 days for papers). Colour publication is free and all articles are indexed in MEDLINE. You can choose for your article to be handled by the Cambridge office or one of our Associate Editors: Christian Hackenberger, Lei Liu, Margaret Brimble or Jin-Quan Yu.

Scope

The special issue will serve as a forum to disseminate the latest findings in the burgeoning field of macrocycles. This will include studies aimed at new ways of constructing macrocycles, efforts to understand their biological activity, and new approaches to deciphering conformational profiles using state of the art spectroscopic methods. The issue is aimed at a broad audience comprising synthetic, medicinal, and biological chemists














Research in OBC is published as communications (for urgent work – up to 5 pages in length) or full papers. There is also the opportunity to write a Perspective or Review article for the issue, and if you would be interested in this please let us know beforehand. All submissions will be subject to rigorous peer review to meet the usual high standards of OBC. Guidelines are available at rsc.li/1K0EgYx and rsc.li/1OoQWQh.

If you are interested in taking part in this issue, please email OBC: obc-rsc@rsc.org

Manuscripts can be submitted using the Royal Society of Chemistry’s online article submission service. Please clearly state that the manuscript is submitted for the themed issue on Macrocylces with bio-related applications.

To view recent articles or find out more about OBC, please visit the journal’s homepage:

Organic & Biomolecular ChemistryRapid publication of high quality organic chemistry research



Please note that articles will be published online as soon as ready to ensure no delay in dissemination of your work. Articles for the web theme will be published in regular issues of the journal. The themed issue will then be published online once all articles have been published. Click here for an example of a previous web theme issue in OBC.

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OBC Call for Papers – Biocatalysis: Natural and biologically inspired synthetic enzymes

Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry is delighted to announce a call for papers for its latest themed issue on:

Biocatalysis: Natural and biologically inspired synthetic enzymes

Guest Editors: Scott Silverman and Douglas Mitchell (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA)

Deadline for Submission: 15 February 2017

OBC offers fast decisions and publication (average time from receipt to first decision for peer reviewed articles is 12 days for communications and 19 days for papers). Colour publication is free and all articles are indexed in MEDLINE. You can choose for your article to be handled by the Cambridge office or one of our Associate Editors: Christian Hackenberger, Lei Liu, Margaret Brimble or Jin-Quan Yu.

Scope

Biocatalysis includes a range of topics related to catalysis by molecules obtained or derived from biology. This issue will cover the following topics:

1. Study of naturally occurring biological catalysts (protein enzymes and ribozymes)
2. Protein engineering and directed evolution, including computational tools
3. Metabolic engineering for synthetic chemistry
4. Development of synthetic biologically inspired catalysts, including small-molecule catalysts

















Research in OBC is published as communications (for urgent work – up to 5 pages in length) or full papers. There is also the opportunity to write a Perspective or Review article for the issue, and if you would be interested in this please let us know beforehand. All submissions will be subject to rigorous peer review to meet the usual high standards of OBC. Guidelines are available at rsc.li/1K0EgYx and rsc.li/1OoQWQh.

If you are interested in taking part in this issue, please email OBC: obc-rsc@rsc.org

Manuscripts can be submitted using the Royal Society of Chemistry’s online article submission service. Please clearly state that the manuscript is submitted for the themed issue on Biocatalysis: Natural and biologically inspired synthetic enzymes.

To view recent articles or find out more about OBC, please visit the journal’s homepage:

Organic & Biomolecular ChemistryRapid publication of high quality organic chemistry research



Please note that articles will be published online as soon as ready to ensure no delay in dissemination of your work. Articles for the web theme will be published in regular issues of the journal. The themed issue will then be published online once all articles have been published. Click here for an example of a previous web theme issue in OBC.

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Application of the paranemic crossover motif in 2D self-assembly

Nature uses a cooperative interplay of noncovalent interactions to control complex self-assembly of organized nanostructures with extreme precision. Taking this as inspiration, the field of structural DNA nanotechnology has been working toward the development of programmable, self-assembling nanomaterials and motion control at the nanoscale level by exploiting the remarkable molecular recognition properties of DNA. A number of basic structural motifs using branched DNA have been designed and are key elements for the construction of supramolecular arrays, molecular scaffolds and mechanical and logical nanodevices.

The paranemic crossover (PX) motif, as described in a recent OBC publication, has been of particular interest due to its unique ability to behave as both a self-assembling building block or tile and cohesive linker. Its application, until now, has been limited to 1D arrays as the level of flexibility within PX tiles needed to be controlled in order to access well-defined 2D and 3D DNA structures.

PX DNA arises from the fusion of two parallel double helices through strand cross-overs wherever the two strands come in contact. The component double strands are not linked and can hypothetically pair with each other indefinitely in a manner similar to the pairing of a buldged double helix. Advantageously, the PX structural motif reduces the need for sticky end cohesion, traditionally used in DNA-based self-assembly, which leads to an overall increase in nanostructure stability as sticky ends are susceptible to enzymatic degradation. In addition, complex DNA nanostructures made solely from PX motifs reduce topological problems during self-assembly thus minimizing error.

Researchers from the National Centre for NanoScience and Technology in Beijing, Anhui Normal University in China and Purdue University in the United States have collaboratively studied various structural parameters in order to optimize PX DNA’s ability to participate in the assembly of highly desirable 2D nanostructures. By varying the number of base pairs that make up the major (wide, W) and minor (narrow, N) grooves of the bulged double helix, several versions of PX tiles were prepared. Optimal parameters were observed when T65 (according to the formula TWN), which assembled into an extended, flat and regular 2D array (see image). Any deviation from this number of base pairs resulted in the tile becomes stressed and twisted leading to random aggregates.

This discovery has made possible the application of the highly desirable PX motif in 2D nanoconstruction which will no doubt lead to the synthesis of more stable and structurally and functionally intricate DNA self-assembling nanostructures.

To find out more see:

The study of the paranemic crossover (PX) motif in the context of self-assembly of DNA 2D crystals
Weili Shen, Qing Liu, Baoquan Ding, Zhiyong Shen, Changqing Zhu and Chendge Mao
DOI: 10.1039/c6ob01146b


Victoria Corless is currently completing her Ph.D. in organic chemistry with Prof. Andrei Yudin at The University of Toronto. Her research is centred on the synthesis of kinetically amphoteric molecules, which offer a versatile platform for the development of chemoselective transformations with particular emphasis on creating novel biologically active molecules.
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Directing Biosynthesis V

22-24 March 2017 at the University of Warwick, UK

Don’t miss the fifth edition of this highly successful international natural products and chemical biology conference at the University of Warwick. Keynote speakers include Wilfred van der Donk, Janet Smith, John Verderas, Joern Piel and many more.

Oral abstract submission is now open!

Closing date 9 October 2016: submit abstracts online here.

This conference will cover aspects of natural product synthesis and development with emphasis on…

  • Biosynthesis of cell walls – targets for antimicrobials
  • Pathway engineering
  • Enzymology and structural biology
  • Natural products discovery – a response to AMR
  • Chemical ecology

Posters and exhibitors also welcome. Contact events@rsc.org for more information.

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OBC Call for Papers – Polycyclizations in Synthesis and Biosynthesis themed issue

Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry is delighted to announce a call for papers for its latest themed issue on:

Polycyclizations in Synthesis and Biosynthesis

Guest Editors: Michel Gagné (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA), Rong-Jie Chein (Academia Sinica, Taiwan) and Dean Tantillo (University of California Davis, USA)

Deadline for Submission: 1 February 2017

OBC offers fast decisions and publication (average time from receipt to first decision for peer reviewed articles is 12 days for communications and 19 days for papers). Colour publication is free and all articles are indexed in MEDLINE. You can choose for your article to be handled by the Cambridge office or one of our Associate Editors: Christian Hackenberger, Lei Liu, Margaret Brimble or Jin-Quan Yu.

Scope

This issue will cover research on the development of new polycyclization reactions including new reagents and catalysts, applications to total synthesis and/or diversity-oriented synthesis, and experimental and/or theoretical mechanistic studies on polycyclizations in synthesis or biosynthesis.










Research in OBC is published as communications (for urgent work – up to 5 pages in length) or full papers. There is also the opportunity to write a Perspective or Review article for the issue, and if you would be interested in this please let us know. All submissions will be subject to rigorous peer review to meet the usual high standards of OBC. Guidelines are available at rsc.li/1K0EgYx and rsc.li/1OoQWQh.

If you are interested in taking part in this issue, please email OBC: obc-rsc@rsc.org

Manuscripts can be submitted using the Royal Society of Chemistry’s online article submission service. Please clearly state that the manuscript is submitted for the themed issue on Polycyclizations in Synthesis and Biosynthesis.

To view recent articles or find out more about OBC, please visit the journal’s homepage:

Organic & Biomolecular ChemistryRapid publication of high quality organic chemistry research



Please note that articles will be published online as soon as ready to ensure no delay in dissemination of your work. Articles for the web theme will be published in regular issues of the journal. The themed issue will then be published online once all articles have been published. Click here for an example of a previous web theme issue in OBC.

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Engineering artificial metalloenzymes for applications in photoredox catalysis

Synthetic methodologies to control the selectivity and specificity of catalytic reactions remain the subject of intense research due to the importance of chiral compounds in pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals and functional materials. Homogenous catalysis takes advantage of weak interactions between the substrate, catalyst and groups distal to the active site to impart selectivity. Such features are ubiquitous in enzymes which display exceptionally high levels of stereochemical control and activity. In order to exploit the advanced capabilities of such enzymes for selective catalytic transformations, researchers have linked transition metal catalysts with different biological scaffolds–proteins, peptides, DNA–to create artificial metalloenzymes.

Since their inception in the late 1970’s, artificial metalloenzymes have emerged as a vibrant area of research with numerous examples of a variety of catalytic transformations reported alongside creative methods for incorporating the transition metal complex into the biomolecular scaffold. Key to their design is the ‘second coordination sphere’ provided by the biological scaffold where supramolecular interactions within the active site contribute to the rate and enantioselectivity of the system.

Prof. Thomas Ward and Prof. Oliver Wenger of the University of Basel have recently reported a novel biotin-streptavidin system equipped with an anchored photosensitizer capable of undergoing electron transfers between the biotinylated electron donor and ruthenium(II)-labeled streptavidin.

In the past, studies of the luminescent properties of biotinylated d6 metal complexes, common in photoredox catalysis, have been carried out for the purposes of cell imaging and ruthenium and rhenium complexes have been employed in the elucidation of electron tunneling pathways of various proteins. The application of phototriggered electron transfers to ruthenium photosensitizers, up until this point, had not yet been realized and this recent discovery demonstrates a significant advancement within this field.

This new biotin-streptavidin artificial metalloenzyme contains a ruthenium catalyst and photosensitizers embedded within the biotin binding pocket of streptavidin through covalent interactions with non-native cysteine residues. Their performance in various electron transfer studies demonstrates their potential to behave as advanced photoredox catalysts and given the diversity of reactions amenable to photoredox processes, these novel artificial metalloenzymes will provide unique opportunities within selective catalysis.

To find out more see:

Light-driven electron injection from a biotinylated triarylamine donor to [Ru(diimine)3]2+-labeled streptavidin
Sascha G. Keller, Andrea Pannwitz, Fabian Schwizer, Juliane Klehr, Oliver S. Wenger and Thomas R. Ward
DOI: 10.1039/C6OB01273F


Victoria Corless is currently completing her Ph.D. in organic chemistry with Prof. Andrei Yudin at The University of Toronto. Her research is centred on the synthesis of kinetically amphoteric molecules, which offer a versatile platform for the development of chemoselective transformations with particular emphasis on creating novel biologically active molecules.

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OBC prize winner at CRSI National Symposium

Congratulations to the OBC poster prize winner at the 2016 CRSI National Symposium!

We were pleased to present the OBC poster prize to Mr. K. Rajasekhar from the group of T. Govindaraju at the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore. Mr. K. Rajasekhar presented his work on ‘Rationally designed peptidomimetic modulators of AB toxicity and related oxidative stress in Alzheimer’s disease’ on which he also recently published a Feature Article in Chemical Communications.


The 19th CRSI National Symposium in Chemistry is the most important annual chemistry symposium in India and took place from 14-16 July 2016 at the University of North Bengal (NBU), India.


Read K. Rajasekhar’s recent Feature article in ChemComm:

Function and toxicity of amyloid beta and recent therapeutic interventions targeting amyloid beta in Alzheimer’s disease
K. Rajasekhar, Malabika Chakrabarti and T. Govindaraju
Chem. Commun., 2015,51, 13434-13450

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RSC Organic Division Poster Symposium 2016

Headline sponsored by F. Hoffmann-La Roche, Ltd.

This poster symposium for final year organic chemistry PhD students will take place at The Royal Society of Chemistry at Burlington House, in London, Monday 5 December 2016.

Abstract submission is now open!

The closing date for abstract submissions is Monday 3 October 2016. Get more information or submit an abstract now.

This symposium offers final year PhD students a chance to showcase their research to their peers, leading academics and industrial chemists. It is open to all branches of organic chemistry – in its broadest interpretation – and has a tradition of being the most competitive and highly-regarded organic chemistry symposium for PhD students in the UK and Ireland.

There will be a first prize of £500, two runner-up prizes, and a ‘selected by Industry’ prize. Industrial delegates will select this winner based on the potential for application in an industrial context.

We would like to thank F. Hoffmann-La Roche, Ltd. and our industry sponsors for their generous support of this event.

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Past and present methodologies for the synthesis and functionalization of heterocycles and their impact on drug discovery

Heterocycles play a central role in modern drug design and this is reflected in the fact that they are present within the majority of marketed drugs. Their prevalence in medicine is not unexpected as heterocycles are the core elements of natural bioactive molecules and medicinal chemistry is centred around simulating the biological effects elicited by these privileged scaffolds.

Advances in organic synthesis are critical to the drug discovery process. The breadth of available synthetic methodologies related to heterocycle functionalization represents an almost endless source of innovation for the medicinal chemist. What is interesting however is the bias within the pharmaceutical industry toward relatively few reaction types. But why are certain methodologies favoured and what has been the long term impact?

Numerous reviews and analyses have been published wherein the types of chemical reactions used by the pharmaceutical industry over the past 30-50 years have been assessed and it has been established that of the current, most frequently used synthetic reactions—for example, amide bond formation, Suzuki-Miyaura cross-coupling, SNAr—none were discovered within the past 20 years.1 Increase in available commercial reagents, robustness and chemoselectivity has only amplified medicinal chemists’ preference for these reaction types.

The integration of new, ground-breaking methodologies in heterocycle synthesis such as ring-closing metathesis, C–H activation, multi-component reactions, photoredox catalysis etc. has been slow and this reliance on a select few reaction types has resulted in an overpopulation of a small amount of chemical space. Granted, underlying reasons for selected routes in a medicinal chemistry program are complex and the constant pressure to produce, maintain timelines, follow regulations and remain competitive is valid. However, this approach has not necessarily translated into an increase in FDA approved drugs. It’s fair to question whether or not such a practise is fully exploiting the vast toolbox of synthetic methodology available to medicinal chemists which could lead to new, diverse chemical space and new opportunities to tackle issues presently facing the pharmaceutical industry.

In a recently published OBC review as part of the themed collection on Contemporary Synthesis in Drug Discovery, scientists from Pfizer outline recent developments from both industry and academia in heterocycle synthesis and functionalization within the context of drug discovery. The purpose of this and other reviews is to help raise awareness and even popularize novel synthetic methodologies within the pharmaceutical industry. This is likely to be of greater impact in drug discover if more industrial-academic partnerships were to collaborate in the development of novel synthetic approaches toward medicinally relevant heterocycles. Regardless, advancements in synthetic chemistry are intertwined with the development of interesting molecular designs and transformative medicines.

1. Alexandria P. Taylor, Ralph P. Robinson, Yvette M. Fobian, David C. Blakemore, Lyn H. Jones and Olugbeminiyi Fadeyi, Org. Biomol. Chem.2016, 14, 6611–6637


To find out more see:

Contemporary Synthetic Chemistry in Drug Discovery OBC Themed Collection

Modern advances in heterocyclic chemistry in drug discovery
Alexandria P. Taylor, Ralph P. Robinson, Yvette M. Fobian, David C. Blakemore, Lyn H. Jones and Olugbeminiyi Fadeyi
DOI: 10.1039/C6OB00936K


Victoria Corless is currently completing her Ph.D. in organic chemistry with Prof. Andrei Yudin at The University of Toronto. Her research is centred on the synthesis of kinetically amphoteric molecules, which offer a versatile platform for the development of chemoselective transformations with particular emphasis on creating novel biologically active molecules.

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