CORDIS - EU research results

Dynamic interactive chemical biology and biomedicine

Final Activity Report Summary - DYNAMIC (Dynamic interactive chemical biology and biomedicine)

The scientific landscape is constantly undergoing rapid change and growth, and nowhere is this more evident than at the interface of biology/biomedicine and chemistry. Recent advances in biological, chemical, and biophysical techniques are presenting us with spectacular opportunities to increase our understanding of biological systems at the molecular level and to address medical problems. Chemical biology biomedicine bridges the chemical and biological sciences with particular attention to the emerging power of designed small molecules as probes of protein and cellular function in the design of therapeutic agents. Particularly important is the contribution of organic chemistry and molecular design as a complement to structural biology, genomics, glycomics and proteomics. In this context, it is evident that successful researchers in chemical biology and biomedicine have to possess a multitude of different skills. Not only is a strong hold on modern organic synthesis necessary for the production of building blocks, but also knowledge of biological tools and medical issues are a prerequisite. In addition, physical techniques including modelling and characterisation of the substances are essential.

The present programme is generally based on the concept of dynamic chemistry for the field of glycosciences. Constitutional dynamic chemistry is a new evolutional approach to produce chemical diversity, and the glycosciences constitutes a rapidly evolving field where the structure, synthesis and function of complex carbohydrate structures of biomolecules are studied. Carbohydrate recognition plays a central role in many biological processes, and a multitude of proteins and other entities are involved in carbohydrate-mediated processes associated with, e.g. cell-cell interactions, cell communication, cell proliferation and cell death. The programme is thus truly cross-sectional, requiring skills at the interface between chemistry, biology, medicine and physics.

The research training network has resulted in several significant outcomes:
1. Advanced inter-disciplinary training in chemical biology, biomedicine, using a dynamic chemistry/glycosciences platform, to a number of early stage- and experienced researchers has been provided.
2. Inter-national and inter-cultural training have been provided for these researchers in a network of highly skilled research groups throughout Europe.
3. Inter-sectorial training between academic groups and participating industrial partners, with special emphasis on corporate prerequisites and entrepreneurship, has been provided.
4. New protocols in dynamic chemistry, with special emphasis on biological systems have been developed. These have led to the design and synthesis of ligands and inhibitors of a variety of proteins in the glycosciences area.
5. New protocols to the design and synthesis of stable small molecules, and clusters of small molecules, that interact with different proteins have been developed.
6. New analytical techniques and biosensor instrumentation for the study of carbohydrate-protein interactions have been developed.
7. New, detailed understanding of carbohydrate-protein interactions has been revealed from in-depth analytical techniques and functional studies.
8. New, detailed understanding of the highly complex functions of carbohydrates and carbohydrate-binding proteins in humans and other living organisms has been revealed. This includes for example immunology and autoimmune diseases, tumour biology and different cancer forms, and neurobiology and neural repair processes.
9. A new textbook in general glycoscience, especially suited for advanced training courses, has been authored by several members of the network.