Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Peptides-on-demand: Radical New Green Chemistry Makes The Impossible Possible

Date:
March 7, 2009
Source:
McGill University
Summary:
Chemists have discovered an entirely new way of synthesizing peptides using simple reagents, a process that would be impossible in classical chemistry.

McGill University chemistry professor Chao-Jun (C.J.) Li is known as one of the world leading pioneers in green chemistry, an entirely new approach to the science which eschews the use of toxic, petrochemical-based solvents in favour of basic substances like water and new ways of making molecules.

Related Articles


The environmental benefits of the green approach are obvious and significant, but following the road less travelled is also paying off in purely scientific terms. With these alternative methods, Li and his colleagues have discovered an entirely new way of synthesizing peptides using simple reagents, a process that would be impossible in classical chemistry. Their results will be published Feb. 27 in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Peptides are short oligomer and polymer substances made up of two or more amino acids linked in a chain. Proteins – also known as polypeptides – are themselves composed of longer chains of peptides. Peptides are enormously important to biological and proteomic research, but classical chemistry provides no easy way to synthesize them, making the potential impact of this discovery very significant.

"Currently, to generate peptides you must use a peptide synthesizer, an expensive piece of high-tech equipment," explained Li, Canada Research Chair in Green Chemistry. "You need to purchase every single separate amino acid unit that makes up the peptide, and feed them into the machine one by one, which then assembles them. Every time you need a new peptide, you need to synthesize it individually from scratch."

Li's new process, by contrast, allows researchers to construct a single, simple "skeleton" peptide which can be modified into any other peptide needed with the addition of a simple reagent.

"If you want to make one peptide or 20 or even 100, you just use a different reagent each time," Li said. "If you use 20 different reagents, you get 20 different peptides."

"This could never have been discovered using the classical form of chemistry," he continued. "Every amino acid unit is very similar to every other one, and classical chemistry simply cannot differentiate one from the other."

The new method is considerably less expensive than traditional techniques, and can readily be adopted by labs anywhere in the world, Li said.

"This is really an enabling new technology," he added, "and since McGill has decided not to patent it, we're making our method available to everyone. We are paying the journal's open access fee, so anyone in the world can access the paper."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by McGill University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

McGill University. "Peptides-on-demand: Radical New Green Chemistry Makes The Impossible Possible." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090224154906.htm>.
McGill University. (2009, March 7). Peptides-on-demand: Radical New Green Chemistry Makes The Impossible Possible. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090224154906.htm
McGill University. "Peptides-on-demand: Radical New Green Chemistry Makes The Impossible Possible." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090224154906.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Real-Life Transformer Robot Walks, Then Folds Into a Car

Real-Life Transformer Robot Walks, Then Folds Into a Car

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) Brave Robotics and Asratec teamed with original Transformers toy company Tomy to create a functional 5-foot-tall humanoid robot that can march and fold itself into a 3-foot-long sports car. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) A California-based startup has designed new law enforcement technology that aims to automatically alert dispatch when an officer's gun is unholstered and fired. Two law enforcement agencies are currently testing the technology. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins