Labeling of Proteins and DNA with Strained Ring Functionality for use in Bioorthogonal Reactions

Name of Award

3M Large Scale Grant

Date Awarded



Chemistry and Biochemistry

Project Description

Dr. James Wollack, Associate Professor of Chemistry, and SCU chemistry students Kristina Poss, Holly Schwarzbauer and Klara Zelikman received a $30,995 award from the 3M Large Scale Grant program to study bioorthogonal reactions. Biological chemistry often requires the use of bioorthogonal reactions (reactions that are not predisposed to side-reactivity with cellular components). The most common methods of doing bioorthogonal reactions, called click chemistry, requires the use of copper catalysts that pose toxicity issues to the biological system being studied. The project will use new chemistries that rely on the reactivity of strained rings to do bioorthogonal reactions, which do not require toxic copper catalysts. These strain-promoted reactions will then be used to attach biological molecules to surfaces, small molecules, and other biological molecules in the presence of a milieu of cellular components. The proposed chemistry can also be used to attach DNA to surfaces and other biological molecules. Since DNA is especially sensitive to cleavage by copper, these alternative reactions for biological ligation could be an important improvement to currently known techniques.

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