Organic Synthesis of Inhibitors and Mechanistic Probes for Molecular Enzymology
The main theme of research in the group of R. Breinbauer is the synthesis and identification of small molecule probes for the study of protein function – a strategy, which has been called “Chemical Genetics” and has received an increasing amount of attention over the last few years. In this endeavour, which requires continuous collaboration between biologists and chemists, two different strategies are pursued. On one hand, R. Breinbauer develops high-throughput methods for the synthesis of collections of chemical compounds (“libraries”), which are screened in phenotypic cell-based assays or against specific proteins. The second approach designs molecular probes to study the mechanism of specific enzymes and the function of these proteins in their cellular and organismic environment. These goals lie at the heart of the scientific objectives of this DK. Other research projects in the Breinbauer group aim at the use of transition-metal catalyzed reactions for the post-translational modification of proteins (e.g. farnesylation of Cys-side chains using palladium-allyl complexes), the development of ligation strategies for Chemical Proteomics efforts, and activities in the field of applied biocatalysis, which occur within the Comet program K2 “Austrian Centre for Industrial Biotechnology” (ACIB).
In Funding Period 4 students will prepare small molecule probes for studying enzyme mechanisms and for the investigation of protein function in organisms.
Laboratory know-how and infrastructureThe DK projects in Funding Period 4 will be carried out at the Institute of Organic Chemistry, TU Graz. The equipment required for the synthetic part of these projects is available in house. The labs are well equipped for the characterization of the synthesized compounds via spectroscopic (NMR, IR, UV, MS) methods. Functional enzyme assays will be established at the Institute. In-house expertise in this respect is provided by other groups at the Institute and can be additionally provided by our collaboration partners.