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Publications (4)6.16 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Although strong binding interactions between protein receptor and ligand do not require the participation of a large number of amino acids in either site, short peptide chains are generally poor at recreating the types of protein-protein interactions which take place during cell recognition and signalling process, probably because their flexible backbones prevent the side chains from forming sufficiently rigid and stable epitopes, which can take part in binding with the desired strength and specificity. In a recently-reported study, it was shown that a proto-epitope containing F, R and S amino acids has the ability to down-regulate TNF secretion by macrophages. This paper extends these findings, putting those amino acids into a short cyclic peptide scaffold, and determining the optimal configuration required to overcome the problems of conformational instability, and give rise to molecules which have potential as therapeutic agents in human disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
    Molecules 12/2014; 19(12):21529-40. DOI:10.3390/molecules191221529 · 2.10 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We describe a new method of combinatorial screening in which building blocks, instead of being linked together chemically, are placed on the surface of nanoparticles. Two- or three-dimensional structures form on the surface of these particles through the close approach of different building blocks, with sufficient flexibility to be able to adapt and interact with putative binding sites in biological systems. The particles assemble without the need for formation of chemical bonds, so libraries comprised of many structures can be prepared rapidly, with large quantities of material available for testing. Screening methods can include solid and solution-phase binding assays, or tissue culture models, for example looking for structures which can change the behaviour of cells in a disease-modifying manner.
    Molecules 03/2013; 18(3):3427-3441. DOI:10.3390/molecules18033427 · 2.10 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This paper describes the synthesis of peptide fragments for use in a new type of combinatorial discovery technology, in which the building blocks are brought together by non-covalent interactions, rather than direct chemical bonding. The building blocks of interest—in this case different amino acids—are converted to amphiphiles by attachment to lipid tails. The amphiphiles, when mixed together in aqueous phase, are designed so that they aggregate spontaneously to form micelles. The building blocks form the headgroups of each of the amphiphiles, and these headgroups cover the surface of the micelle in a dynamic close-packed fluid mosaic array. These building blocks come together so closely that two-or three-dimensional structures are created on the surface of the micelles, and these can be screened in biological assays to find out which combination of building blocks is able to elicit a biological response. Lipopeptides consisting of two residues of lipoamino acid and other amino acids moieties have been designed, synthesized, characterized and the abil-ity of these constructs to form supra-molecular assemblies is demonstrated.
    International Journal of Organic Chemistry 01/2012; 2:75-81.
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    ABSTRACT: A class of glycolipopeptides for use as building blocks for a new type of dynamic combinatorial library is reported. The members of the library consist of a variable carbohydrate moiety, coded amino acids, and lipoamino acids in order to convert them into amphiphiles. Glycolipopeptidic amphiphiles interact through non-covalent bonding when mixed together in aqueous phase and form micelles in dynamic close-packed fluid mosaic arrays. The head groups of amphiphiles are exposed on the micelle surface, providing entities which could be screened in biological assays to find the most potent combination of building blocks in order to identify new bioactive carbohydrate ligands.
    Carbohydrate research 03/2011; 346(12):1439-44. DOI:10.1016/j.carres.2011.03.019 · 1.97 Impact Factor