Nav: Home

TSRI scientists receive two new grants to explore 'click chemistry' applications

October 04, 2016

LA JOLLA, CA - October 4, 2016 - Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have received a grant of nearly $1.9 million from the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) and a grant of $640,000 from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for two new projects that take advantage of "click chemistry."

Created in the mid-1990s by TSRI Professor K. Barry Sharpless, a Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, click chemistry is a method for the rapid discovery of new chemical properties by reliably "clicking" molecules together.

The NIGMS grant will support a new four-year project led by TSRI Associate Professor Peng Wu to study the role of "fucosylated" sugar molecules in cancer.

Fucosylation is adding fucose, a natural sugar, to molecules like glycans, one of the four fundamental building blocks of life. Fucosylation changes how tumors behave. Scientists have found that fucosylated glycans in tumors seem to block the body's ability to destroy cancer cells. However, the underlying mechanism remains a mystery.

"If we can understand how cancer cells use fucosylated glycans to fool the immune system," said Wu, "then we hope we can learn from it, too, and create new immunotherapies--for example, strategies to deliver cytotoxic T cells or antibodies specifically to tumors based on their fucosylation levels."

The new project will include the use of click chemistry-based tools to label cell surface glycans.

"This chemistry developed at Scripps can contribute to understanding biology and also to finding new biological products," said Wu.

The NSF grant will support a four-year project led by Sharpless to create new clicked polymers using SuFEx, a sulfur fluoride exchange reaction discovered by Sharpless and colleagues in 2014.

"SuFEx is revealing unique reactivity," said Sharpless. "It is the second, near-perfect click reaction discovered in our laboratory. CuAAC (rhymes with 'quack') was first. Used in tandem, SuFEx and CuAAC have found new chemical universes that may be as large as nature's chemistry. The potential is staggering."

Sharpless will work with Wu to develop polymers with better properties than today's ubiquitous polycarbonate-based materials. Sharpless said new polymers might include flexible electronics, hybrid nanocomposites, bioplastics and smart coatings. "Imagine," he said, "windows that wash themselves, clothes you can clean with polymer beads instead of soap, or plastic automobile bodies."

The number of the NIGMS grant is R01GM093282. The number of the NSF grant is 1610987.
-end-


Scripps Research Institute

Related Cancer Articles:

Radiotherapy for invasive breast cancer increases the risk of second primary lung cancer
East Asian female breast cancer patients receiving radiotherapy have a higher risk of developing second primary lung cancer.
Cancer genomics continued: Triple negative breast cancer and cancer immunotherapy
Continuing PLOS Medicine's special issue on cancer genomics, Christos Hatzis of Yale University, New Haven, Conn., USA and colleagues describe a new subtype of triple negative breast cancer that may be more amenable to treatment than other cases of this difficult-to-treat disease.
Metabolite that promotes cancer cell transformation and colorectal cancer spread identified
Osaka University researchers revealed that the metabolite D-2-hydroxyglurate (D-2HG) promotes epithelial-mesenchymal transition of colorectal cancer cells, leading them to develop features of lower adherence to neighboring cells, increased invasiveness, and greater likelihood of metastatic spread.
UH Cancer Center researcher finds new driver of an aggressive form of brain cancer
University of Hawai'i Cancer Center researchers have identified an essential driver of tumor cell invasion in glioblastoma, the most aggressive form of brain cancer that can occur at any age.
UH Cancer Center researchers develop algorithm to find precise cancer treatments
University of Hawai'i Cancer Center researchers developed a computational algorithm to analyze 'Big Data' obtained from tumor samples to better understand and treat cancer.
New analytical technology to quantify anti-cancer drugs inside cancer cells
University of Oklahoma researchers will apply a new analytical technology that could ultimately provide a powerful tool for improved treatment of cancer patients in Oklahoma and beyond.
Radiotherapy for lung cancer patients is linked to increased risk of non-cancer deaths
Researchers have found that treating patients who have early stage non-small cell lung cancer with a type of radiotherapy called stereotactic body radiation therapy is associated with a small but increased risk of death from causes other than cancer.
Cancer expert says public health and prevention measures are key to defeating cancer
Is investment in research to develop new treatments the best approach to controlling cancer?
UI Cancer Center, Governors State to address cancer disparities in south suburbs
The University of Illinois Cancer Center and Governors State University have received a joint four-year, $1.5 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to help both institutions conduct community-based research to reduce cancer-related health disparities in Chicago's south suburbs.
Leading cancer research organizations to host international cancer immunotherapy conference
The Cancer Research Institute, the Association for Cancer Immunotherapy, the European Academy of Tumor Immunology, and the American Association for Cancer Research will join forces to sponsor the first International Cancer Immunotherapy Conference at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel in New York, Sept.

Related Cancer Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Digital Manipulation
Technology has reshaped our lives in amazing ways. But at what cost? This hour, TED speakers reveal how what we see, read, believe — even how we vote — can be manipulated by the technology we use. Guests include journalist Carole Cadwalladr, consumer advocate Finn Myrstad, writer and marketing professor Scott Galloway, behavioral designer Nir Eyal, and computer graphics researcher Doug Roble.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#529 Do You Really Want to Find Out Who's Your Daddy?
At least some of you by now have probably spit into a tube and mailed it off to find out who your closest relatives are, where you might be from, and what terrible diseases might await you. But what exactly did you find out? And what did you give away? In this live panel at Awesome Con we bring in science writer Tina Saey to talk about all her DNA testing, and bioethicist Debra Mathews, to determine whether Tina should have done it at all. Related links: What FamilyTreeDNA sharing genetic data with police means for you Crime solvers embraced...