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 tailor made synthesis of cyclic chemicals by means of enzymes
tailor-made synthesis of cyclic chemicals by means of enzymes

IMAGE: Doctoral student Nadine Zumbrägel and Professor Dr. Harald Gröger are conducting research on organic synthesis using biocatalysts.
view more Credit: Bielefeld UniversityPenicillin-based antibiotics contain a five-membered hydrocarbon cycle, additionally incorporating a sulfur and a nitrogen atom. Nadine Zumbrägel, doctoral student at the Chair of Organic Chemistry I at Bielefeld University, has succeeded in selectively synthesizing this important substructure with different residues on this cycle using a biotechnological method. The targeted design of such structures now enables the preparation of substance libraries of such so-called heterocycles, which can in future be used by the pharmaceutical industry to find new active substances. Besides the Bielefeld chemists, two scientis

study yields more than a million new cyclic compounds, some with pharmaceutical

IMAGE: University of Illinois chemistry professor Wilfred van der Donk and his colleagues developed a new method for generating large libraries of unique cyclic compounds.
view more Credit: Photo by Don HamermanCHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Researchers say they can now produce a vast library of unique cyclic compounds, some with the capacity to interrupt specific protein-protein interactions that play a role in disease. The new compounds have cyclic structures that give them stability and enhance their ability to bind to their targets. The study, reported in the journal Nature Chemical Biology, also revealed that one of the newly generated compounds interferes with the binding of an HIV protein to a human protein, an interaction vital to the virus's life cycle.Most drug-discovery efforts focus on d

a molecular dance of phospholipid synthesis

The most abundant molecule in cell membranes is the lipid phosphatidylcholine (PC, commonly known as lecithin); accordingly, the enzymes responsible for synthesizing it are essential. Research published in the May 4 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry used computer simulations to gain insights into how one of these enzymes activates and shuts off PC production. These results could help researchers understand why small changes in this enzyme can lead to conditions like blindness and dwarfism.

breakthrough in direct activation of co2 and ch4 into liquid fuels and chemicals

IMAGE: This is the direct conversion of CO2 and CH4 into liquid fuels.
view more Credit: University of LiverpoolResearchers from the University of Liverpool have made a significant breakthrough in the direct conversion of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) into liquid fuels and chemicals which could help industry to reduce greenhouse gas emissions whilst producing valuable chemical feedstocks.In a paper published in chemistry journal Angewandte Chemie they report a very unique plasma synthesis process for the direct, one-step activation of carbon dioxide and methane into higher value liquid fuels and chemicals (e.g. acetic acid, methanol, ethanol and formaldehyde) with high selectivity at ambient conditions (room temperature and atmospheric pressure).This is the first time this proce

study yields more than a million new cyclic compounds, some with pharmaceutical

Researchers say they can now produce a vast library of unique cyclic compounds, some with the capacity to interrupt specific protein-protein interactions that play a role in disease. The new compounds have cyclic structures that give them stability and enhance their ability to bind to their targets.

artificial and biological cells work together as mini chemical factories

IMAGE: This is an impression of a biological cell (brown) inside the artificial cell (green).
view more Credit: Imperial College LondonResearchers have fused living and non-living cells for the first time in a way that allows them to work together, paving the way for new applications.The system, created by a team from Imperial College London, encapsulates biological cells within an artificial cell. Using this, researchers can harness the natural ability of biological cells to process chemicals while protecting them from the environment.This system could lead to applications such as cellular 'batteries' powered by photosynthesis, synthesis of drugs inside the body, and biological sensors that can withstand harsh conditions.Previous artificial cell design has involved taking parts of biolo

iron-corroding bacteria shown to possess enzymes enabling them to extract electr

A research team led by NIMS and RIKEN has discovered that sulfate-reducing bacteria responsible for anaerobic iron corrosion in petroleum pipelines, etc. possess a group of cell surface enzymes which enable them to directly extract electrons from extracellular solids. Current anticorrosion methods involve the use of antibacterial agents which kill a broad spectrum of bacteria. Their finding may facilitate the development of more efficient and environmental-friendly anti-biocorrosion methods; for example, the formulation of chemicals capable of effectively inhibiting the bacterial enzymes identified in this research.

new active ingredients from the toolbox

FRANKFURT. Microorganisms often produce natural products in a step-by-step manner similar to an assembly line. Examples of such enzymes are non-ribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPS). Researchers at Goethe University Frankfurt have now succeeded in designing these enzymes in such a way that they can produce completely new natural products.Many important therapeutics, such as antibiotics or immunosuppressant and anti-cancer drugs, are derived from microorganisms. This is also the case for several different peptides which are produced in the microbial cell with the help of the NRPS enzymes. An NRPS functions like an assembly line in a modern car factory: new parts are added to the basic chassis at each workstation until a finished car rolls out of the plant at the end. In the case of the NRPS,

exploration of a new chemical synthesis process -- synergy of two catalysts in o

IMAGE: This is an overview of the present research
view more Credit: Kanazawa University[Background]Most medications, agricultural chemicals and functional materials, indispensable for maintaining and improving our lives, are composed of organic molecules. Organic synthesis using a catalyst is the method for the rapid and large scale supply of such organic molecules without imposing a heavy burden on the environment. In this research field, Prof. Noyori in 2001 and Profs. Suzuki and Negishi in 2010 were awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry; Prof. Noyori, for "chirally catalyzed hydrogenation reactions," and Profs. Suzuki and Negishi, for "palladium-catalyzed cross-couplings."In recent years, catalysts consisting of only organic molecules but without metal elements, i.e. organocatalysts,

new electro-organic synthesis allows sustainable and green production of fine ch

In the cooperative EPSYLON research project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, scientists from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and Evonik Performance Materials GmbH have developed a state-of-the-art and innovative electro-organic synthesis method.

self-assembling cyclic protein homo-oligomers

Cyclic proteins that assemble from multiple identical subunits (homo-oligomers) play key roles in many biological processes, including cell signaling and enzymatic catalysis and protein function. Researchers in Berkeley Lab's Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Bioimaging (MBIB) Division worked with University of Washington's David Baker, who led a team to design in silico and crystallize self-assembling cyclic homo-oligomer proteins.

guts to glory? | eurekalert! science news

Herbivore gut fungi hold a lot of promise. Just ask Michelle O'Malley."Most of what we do that resonates with the public is to get weird, unexpected microbes out of the environment," said the assistant professor of chemical engineering at UC Santa Barbara. Often, the environment she's talking about is the gut of a large herbivore, such as a cow, a horse, or a zoo animal. That's where she and her research colleagues have discovered organisms that can be engineered to serve human needs.In findings published in the journal Nature Microbiology, O'Malley and more than 20 co-investigators describe a new complex of enzymes discovered in herbivore gut fungi that may have applications in sustainable fuels and chemicals. The paper is titled "A Parts List for Fungal Cellulosomes Revealed by Comparati

a brief guide to how additive synthesis works – synthtopia

In this video, composer Benn Jordan gives a short introduction to additive synthesis.Along the way, Jordan demonstrates how sine waves can be stacked to create basic timbres, how you can manually recreate a timbre using additive synthesis and why you might not want to use additive synthesis to create music for dogs.Stick around to the end for an example of why you might want to use additive synthesis to recreate acoustic instruments, instead of using samples.Share this:

biofuel produced by microalgae

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology have identified unique lysophosphatidic acid acyltransferases as being the central enzymes for triacylglycerol synthesis by oleaginous alga Nannochloropsis, thus uncovering the mechanisms of biofuel production in microalgae.

a molecular dance of phospholipid synthesis

IMAGE: CCT is a key enzyme that maintains a balanced composition of cell membrane phospholipids. Image highlights the dynamics of a portion of the enzyme CCT that is essential for regulation...
view more Credit: Mohsen Ramezanpour and Jaeyong LeeThe most abundant molecule in cell membranes is the lipid phosphatidylcholine (PC, commonly known as lecithin); accordingly, the enzymes responsible for synthesizing it are essential. Research published in the May 4 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry used computer simulations to gain insights into how one of these enzymes activates and shuts off PC production. These results could help researchers understand why small changes in this enzyme can lead to conditions like blindness and dwarfism. Rosemary Cornell, a professor of molecular bio

sponges innocent of producing a toxic industrial chemical

Enlarge/ This branching tube sponge wouldn't seem to benefit much from a flame retardant.NOAAShare this storyScientific advancements have led to the introduction of many new chemicals into daily life. Unfortunately, along with their benefits, some of those chemicals have brought problems with toxicity. One group of chemicals that has faced this challenge is called polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs); they have been widely used as fire retardants but are now restricted due to their toxicity and tendency to accumulate in organisms.Surprisingly, these complicated chemicals are also made naturally. In some cases, the natural compounds actually exhibit higher toxicity than their man-made counterparts. These naturally occurring chemicals are found across all levels of the marine food-chain, f

fungal enzymes could hold secret to making renewable energy from wood

IMAGE: An overall three dimensional structure of one of this class of enzymes.
view more Credit: Professor Gideon Davies, University of YorkAn international team of researchers, including scientists from the University of York, has discovered a set of enzymes found in fungi that are capable of breaking down one of the main components of wood. The enzymes could now potentially be used to sustainably convert wood biomass into valuable chemical commodities such as biofuels.As an alternative to coal and oil, wood is increasingly one of the more promising sources of advanced biofuels . However, despite its potential, it is a difficult material to breakdown. Current wood biorefineries have to use pre-treatment processes, making the conversion of wood into fuels and products expensive and energ

enzymes at work: breaking down stubborn cellulose

IMAGE: Hydrolytic enzymes break down cellulose better and thus pave the way to competitive biofuels. In the picture: Manuel Eibinger, first author of the study and PostDoc at the Institute for...
view more Credit: © Lunghammer - TU GrazBiofuels obtained from biomass are becoming increasingly important. Apart from biomethane, however, they cannot be produced efficiently, cheaply and sustainably since the current technological complexity and costs are still too high. Partly to blame is cellulose, a polysaccharide and plant constituent which is not water soluble and thus difficult to process. Oxidative enzymesTypically, biorefineries use a mix of hydrolytically active enzymes which utilize water molecules to breakdown plant material - as happens in natural degradation processes. Recently, o

cluedo in the cell: enzyme location controls enzyme activity

Most proteins in the cell are not produced "ready to go". Instead, they are first synthesized with chains of amino acids that block their activity until they are removed by enzymes called "proprotein convertases" (PCs). This family of enzymes plays significant but very different roles in various cancers, and regulating the activity of PCs could help develop cancer treatments. But PCs overlap in terms of activity, meaning that two or more of these enzymes can process the same protein. This overlap makes it very difficult to distinguish and map out the functional profile of each PC.

a potential drug target against a large family of parasites is identified

Apicomplexa form one of the largest and most diverse groups of obligate intracellular parasites, capable of infecting almost every kind of animal. It is estimated that between 1.2 and 10 million species exist, but only about 5,000-6,000 have been identified to date. These include Plasmodium, which that causes malaria and about 440,000 deaths every year, Toxoplasma, which causes congenital disease and opportunistic infections in immunocompromised people, Babesia, which infects cattle, and others. Despite the global economic and health impact of these parasites, much of their biology is still unknown. For example, their surface is covered by glycoconjugates that are essential for their survival and infectivity, but little is known of the processes that lead to the synthesis of such molecules

chemicals from gut bacteria maintain vitality in aging animals

A class of chemicals made by intestinal bacteria, known as indoles, help worms, flies and mice maintain mobility and resilience for more of their lifespans, scientists have discovered.

a new idea connects the synthesis of clays and the origin of metabolism

Illustration that connects the synthesis of clays and the origin of metabolism. Credit: Ruixin ZhouThe question of how life has begun has fascinated scientists from many disciplines and it was the organic chemist Graham Cairns-Smith who proposed the theory for the origin of life starting from clays instead of polymers such as RNA.
The source of the monomers such as nucleotides, amino acids and dicarboxylic acids were relegated by Cairns-Smith to the evolution of metabolism, which is the synthesis of amino acids and nucleotides from the citric acid cycle.This problem of the evolution of metabolism has recently been advanced by the behavior of simple semiconductor minerals such as zinc sulfide (ZnS), which are capable of harvesting sunlight energy and converting this energy into the format

newly discovered enzyme complexes in herbivore digestive tracts show promise for

An artist’s rendering depicts a chain of repeating green glucose molecules in cellulose being broken down by the newly discovered fungus Anaeromyces robustus. The rodlike element at the bottom and the yellow parts represent the scaffoldin protein, while the bronze-colored trapezoids with vertical extenders are the dockerin protein domains, which allow the various types of enzymes (shown as gemlike elements) to work together in assembly-line fashion to break down the cellulose. Credit: Scott Condon/UCSBHerbivore gut fungi hold a lot of promise. Just ask Michelle O'Malley.
"Most of what we do that resonates with the public is to get weird, unexpected microbes out of the environment," said the assistant professor of chemical engineering at UC Santa Barbara. Often, the environment she's talk

to find new biofuel enzymes, it can take a microbial village

A new study led by researchers at the Department of Energy's Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI), based at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), demonstrates the importance of microbial communities as a source of stable enzymes that could be used to convert plants to biofuels.

rice scientists simplify the incorporation of nitrogen into molecules

A Rice University laboratory that specializes in synthesizing reagents and intermediate molecules for the design and manufacture of drugs and other fine chemicals has delivered on a promise to generalize the synthesis of electrophilic (electron-poor) aminating agents.

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