Peptidomimetic Foldamers with Interesting Biological Properties Design, Synthesis, Structural Characterization and Biological Evaluation of New Peptidomimetics with a Defined Secondary Structure
(FOLDAMERS Project: Marie Curie Host Fellowships for Early Stage Research Training MEST-CT-2004-515968)
Director: Prof. Umberto Piarulli
Protein-Protein interactions are fundamental to biology and constitute an interesting target class for medicinal chemistry projects investigating cell adhesion, signal transduction, proteolysis or protein folding diseases.
With the deciphering of the human genome project, the next decades will bring a myriad of new proteins being potentially important receptors since they might be associated with diseases. To design ligands towards such receptors, peptides and peptidomimetics will play an important role, since they are known to display unprecedented structural and functional diversity.
One challenging aspect of peptidomimetic chemistry is to develop a strategy which results in molecules that adopt specific secondary structures relevant to those found in protein segments or substrate-bound peptides of interest. Despite numerous efforts, there are today only few success stories where chemists have redirected the complex nature of protein-protein interactions. So an important step in this effort is the development of molecular scaffold inducing conformational constraints.
The research topic of the early stage research projects proposed by this network is to design, synthetise, characterize the secondary structure of new peptidomimetics of biological interest and finally to evaluate their biological activities.
The aim of the present project is to build a model of training program in medicinal chemistry in order to create a very stimulating, international and interdisciplinary environment for the training of young researchers at the early stage of their scientific career.
The project gathers three academic groups with excellent expertise in various areas of chemical and medicinal chemical sciences:
Università degli Studi dell’Insubria – Italy;
Université de Paris Sud – France;
University of Regensburg –Germany.
A training programme has been set, based on common PhD projects between the partners, in order to foster mobility of young researchers and promote the establishment of collaborative links.