JOINT OrgaNIc & chemIcal bIOlOgY semINar Professor Brian McNaughton

JOINT Organic &
chemical bioLOGY
Professor Brian McNaughton
Department of Chemistry
Colorado State University
Expanding the Functional Utility of
Proteins as Research Tools and
Therapeutic Leads
The selective and potent modulation of protein and nucleic acid
function in mammalian cells is essential for examining complex
biochemical networks, and is also the central basis of most
molecular therapeutics and basic research tools. Historically, the
vast majority of molecules used to perturb biological systems have
been small organic molecules (MW <800 Da). However, the target
diversity of traditional small organic molecules within is limited.
For example, recent studies suggest that only a small percentage
(approximately 15-25%) of the human proteome is susceptible to
small molecule-dependent modulation. The fundamental limitation
of small molecules is encoded in the name itself: the molecules are
small, and thus intrinsically unable to recognize many diseaserelevant macromolecular surfaces. Representative of a broader
effort, I will describe the discovery of synthetic proteins that
potently and selectively bind and modulate disease-relevant RNA
hairpins, ‘undruggable’ ankyrin repeat oncoproteins, and helical
assemblies involved in viral infection.
October 27
3:30 PM
Room 1315