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Chemistry Nobel for trio who make molecules click


NEW DELHI: Americans Carolyn R Bertozzi and K Barry Sharpless, and Danish scientist Morten Meldal jointly awarded this year Nobel Prizes in chemistry to develop a “snapshot” way molecule together” – click chemistry – could be used to map DNA and design drugs that can more precisely target diseases.
Make more chemistry function
In pharmaceutical research, creating complex molecules can be an expensive and time-consuming process. Building molecules in the lab can require multiple steps, create unnecessary by-products, and waste precious materials. Conventional methods may work on a smaller scale for testing or clinical trials but are not effective in large-scale production.
To solve this problem, Karl Barry Sharpless, an American chemist at Scripps Research, has developed a minimalist form of chemistry in which the building blocks of molecules can quickly and efficiently stick together. results – he calls it “click chemistry”.

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Sharpless, who also won the prize in 2001 and is the fifth person to win twice, discovered that instead of forcing carbon atoms – the building blocks of organic matter – to bond together during construction building the molecule, it is easier to make smaller bonds. molecule with a complete carbon framework. The main idea is to choose simple reactions between molecules that have a “stronger intrinsic motive” to bind together, resulting in a faster and less wasteful process. Even if click chemistry can’t perfectly mimic naturally occurring molecules, it can still create modular molecules that serve the same purpose.

At about the same time in the early 2000s, Danish chemists Morten Meldal and Sharpless developed a technique that is today the crown jewel of stimulated chemistry – copper azidealkyne cycle catalysis. While researching new pharmaceutical raw materials, Meldal discovered that adding copper ions to the reaction between alkyne and acyl halides unexpectedly produced triazole, a stable ring-shaped chemical structure that is a building block. commonly used in pharmaceuticals, dyes and agrochemicals. The alkyne ends up reacting with the wrong end of the acyl halide molecule, creating a chemical group called an azide at the other end. Together, alkyne and azide combine to make triazole.

Until then, researchers have not been able to produce triazole without creating unwanted by-products. But Meldal found that the addition of copper ions controlled the reaction and produced only one substance. Sharpless calls it the “ideal” click response.

Now, when chemists want to combine two different molecules to make a new molecule, they simply attach an azide molecule to one and an alkyne molecule to the other, and then they bond together in the presence of copper ions. The applications of Click chemistry go far beyond research laboratories – its industrial potential is immense. Currently, scintillation chemistry is used to produce new, purpose-built materials.

For example, adding clickable azides to plastics or fibers could allow manufacturers to later “activate” substances that could conduct electricity or fight bacteria.

Nobel Prize 2 (2)

Chemical click can help fight cancer
While studying glycans, an elusive carbohydrate found on the surface of cells that are important to the immune system, Carolyn Bertozzi of Stanford University – the eighth woman to win the prize – found that she didn’t have the right tools to study them. Bertozzi wanted to attach fluorescent molecules to the glycan so that they could be easily detected. She figured out how to attach a “chemical handle” to the glycan for the fluorescent molecules to attach to. But she needed a “biological reaction” where the handle didn’t react with any other part of the cell. Bertozzi switched to the same azide used by Sharpless and Meldal to make the handles. The azide not only avoids interactions with other parts of the cell, but is also safe to introduce in vivo.
As the importance of azides grew with the prominence of click chemistry, Bertozzi realized that her bioreactor had more potential. In 2004, she developed an alternative click chemotaxis that works without toxic copper, making it safe for living cells.
Bertozzi’s work has been used to identify glycans on the surface of tumor cells and block their defense mechanisms that can depress cellular immunity. This method is currently in clinical trials for people with terminal cancer. Researchers have also begun developing “clickable antibodies” that can help monitor tumors and deliver precise doses of radiation to cancer cells.

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