Editor’s Collection: Meet the authors – Dr Remy Lartia & Dr Eric Defrancq et al.

In this Editor’s Collection, Scott Silverman highlighted ‘Post-synthetic transamination at position N4 of cytosine in oligonucleotides assembled with routinely used phosphoramidites’ by Dr Remy Lartia and Dr Eric Defrancq et al. as one of his personal favourite recent Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry articles. Here, we catch up with the authors to find out a little bit more about their research


Rémy Lartia

Eric Defrancq

Coélio Vallée

Introducing the researchers:

Rémy Lartia. After an engineer diploma and master degree (Univ. Rennes, France, 1998-2001), his Ph.D. research, under the supervision of Dr. Ulysse Asseline at CBM (Univ. Orléans, France,  2001-2004), focused on synthesis of fluorescent oligonuceotidic bioconjugates. In 2010, he joined the group of Prof. Marie-Paule Teulade-Fichou at the Collège de France (Paris, 2004-2006). During his two years of post-doctoral experience, he worked on synthesis of fluorescent triphenylamine derivatives.
He is currently research engineer on the Nanobio facility hosted by DCM (Univ. Grenoble, France, 2006) and works on peptide and oligonucleotides chemistry.

Eric Defrancq received his PhD (Organic Chemistry) in 1989 under the supervision of Prof. Jean Lhomme at the University Joseph Fourier of Grenoble. After two years of postdoctoral research with Prof. Tabacchi at the Institute of Chemistry at Neuchâtel (Switzerland), he returned to Grenoble in 1992 as an Assistant Professor, where he currently works as a full Professor.
His research interests lie in the field of modified oligonucleotide design for applications such as G-quadruplex and i-motif mimetics, aptamers as well as the design of photoreactive metal complexes for DNA targeting.

Coélio Vallée graduated from his Technician Diploma in General Chemistry in 2018 at the University of Montpellier. He joined the Nanobio facility in 2019 as technician on biomolecules synthesis where he performed the elaboration of peptides and oligonucleotides.

What inspired your research in this area?

Current trends in research mainly focus on more and more sophisticated reagents and/or investigation methods. Oppositely, it was thrilling to find out that very standard reagents can afford complex biomolecules such as orthogonally modified nucleic acids.

What do you personally feel is the most interesting outcome of your study?

For bioconjugates design, fine tuning of some parameters (notably tether length between the oligonucleotide and the reporter group) can afford dramatic change of the properties of the whole molecule. However, these parameters are rarely investigated as it often involves tedious multistep synthesis. Our method could easily overcome this difficulty. In the same context, another important outcome is that our method is relatively cheap in comparison with the others thus allowing the aforementioned investigations.

What directions are you planning to take with your research in future?

One direction is to use this method for the preparation of oligonucleotides bearing the cyclopropylamine reporter for photochemical purpose (it was the original need) because the previously described method required the use of very expensive phosphoramidite derivative.
Also, we are open to any collaboration with colleagues who are interested to obtain oligonucleotide conjugates.

Read the full article: Post-synthetic transamination at position N4 of cytosine in oligonucleotides assembled with routinely used phosphoramidites

See the other articles showcased in this month’s Editor’s Collection

See every article in the full Editor’s Collection

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