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Second in a row: another brand new article, this time at RSC Chem. Biol., is now available on-line

Once again... so happy to share our last manuscript, in collaboration with M. Orozco group, is available through the journal website

We are really glad to announce here that our last collaborative article at RSC Chem. Biol., entitled "Molecular dynamics modelling of the interaction of a synthetic zinc-finger miniprotein with DNA" and authored by J. Rodríguez, F. Battistini, S. Learte-Aymamí, M. Orozco and J. L. Mascarenas, is already available through the journal website as a Gold-open access paper.

Abstract: We report the modelling of the DNA complex of an artificial miniprotein composed of two zinc finger modules and an AT-hook linking peptide. The computational study provides for the first time a structural view of these types of complexes, dissecting interactions that are key to modulate their stability. The relevance of these interactions was validated experimentally. These results confirm the potential of this type of computational approach for studying peptide–DNA complexes and suggest that they could be very useful for the rational design of non-natural, DNA binding miniproteins.

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Our brand new article at Chem. Sci. is already available on-line

So glad to announce our last manuscript concerning "Ruthenium-Catalyzed Intermolecular Couplings" is available through the journal website

We are very glad to share here that our article at Chem. Sci., entitled "Ruthenium-Catalyzed Intermolecular Alkene-Alkyne Couplings in Biologically Relevant Media" and authored by A. Gutiérrez, D. Marcos, L. Cool, F. López and J. L. Mascarenas, is already available through the journal website.

Abstract: Cationic cyclopentadienyl Ru(II) catalysts can efficiently promote mild intermolecular alkyne-alkene couplings in aqueous media, even in the presence of different biomolecular components, and in complex media like DMEM. The method can also be used for the derivatization of aminoacids and peptides, therefore proposing a new way to label biomolecules with external tags. This C-C bond-forming reaction, based on simple alkene and alkyne reactants, can now be added to the toolbox of bioorthogonal reactions promoted by transition metal catalysts.

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Another review, now at Trends in Chemistry, is already available on-line

So glad to announce another review concerning "Metal-promoted synthetic chemistry within living cells" is available through the journal website

We are very happy to share our most recent review at Trends Chem., entitled "Metal-promoted synthetic chemistry within living cells" and authored by J. Miguel-Ávila, M. Tomás-Gamasa and J. L. Mascarenas, is already available through the journal website.

Abstract: The ability to perform 'new-to-nature' chemical reactions within living cells and organisms is transforming the way in which scientists interrogate and/or manipulate biological processes. In recent years, the toolbox of bioorthogonal and cell-compatible reactions has been enriched with the incorporation of transition metal-mediated processes. Whereas the efficiency of these reactions is still low, the breadth and generality of organometallic catalysis promises to significantly impact the field of bioorthogonal chemistry. Particularly attractive is the possibility of using organometallic catalysis for performing bond-forming, synthetically relevant reactions, as this could allow assembly of biorelevant products at specific biological sites.

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Our brand new review at Helvetica Chimica Acta is already available on-line

Happy to announce our last review concerning "Ruthenium Catalysis in Biological Habitats" is available through the journal website

We are very glad to share here that our review at Helv. Chim. Acta, entitled "Ruthenium Catalysis in Biological Habitats" and authored by A. Gutiérrez, F. López and J. L. Mascarenas, is already available through the journal website.

Abstract: Recent years have witnessed a considerable progress in research aimed at merging transition metal catalysis with chemical and cell biology. Therefore, a crescent number of metal-catalyzed transformations have been shown compatible with biological media and even with living settings. Of the different transition metals used to build these biocompatible catalysts, ruthenium has demonstrated to be particularly powerful, in part because the resulting complexes exhibit a very good balance between reactivity and biological stability. Indeed, ruthenium complexes have demonstrated utility to promote a great variety of reactions in biologically relevant contexts, from deprotection and redox processes to cycloadditions or photocatalytic transformations. Many of these reactions may enable the development of new type of biological tools and pharmacological strategies.

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Our Commun. Chem. paper in collaboration with Prof. Vázquez, among others, has been selected as 2022 Editors’ Highlights

We are extremely happy to share the acknowledgement by Commun. Chem. editors', selecting our past year paper as one of the best for 2022

Editorial Board Member Professor Andy Wilson highlights Controlling oncogenic KRAS signaling pathways with a Palladium-responsive peptide by Eugenio Vázquez, José Mascareñas and colleagues ( “This is a really nice interdisciplinary manuscript at the interface of chemical biology and supramolecular chemistry; it is beautifully presented and focuses as its centrepiece on the ability to reversibly nucleate an α-helix through coordination of histidine residues placed at the i and i + 4 positions in the peptide sequence with cis-protected palladium. The method is applied to target a key protein–protein interaction that activates the MAP kinase pathway—the interaction between RAS and its activator SOS1. RAS frequently misfunctions in human cancers and has become an important target for development of molecular therapeutics. What is particularly impressive about the paper is the broad range of experiments used; both circular dichroism and NMR are used for structure elucidation of the stimuli responsive peptide, then direct fluorescence anisotropy binding and nucleotide exchange assays used to characterize interaction with RAS and inhibition of the SOS1/RAS interaction, and then finally cell uptake is monitored alongside effects on the MAPK kinase cascade through inhibition of ERK phosphorylation. A further important concept is introduced, specifically that whilst the palladium clip induces some helicity in the peptide, this is only partial, but the effect is proposed to be sufficient to promote RAS binding (relative to the peptide in the absence of palladium) through a bind and fold mechanism similar to that through which many intrinsically disordered proteins operate. Overall, the paper comprises rigorous experimentation and introduces several new concepts. Given the widespread interest in the development of constrained peptides as protein–protein interaction inhibitors, this represents an important advance for the area of constrained peptides.”

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Our most recent collaboration is already on-line at Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.

So glad to announce our first 2023 paper and also collaborative work is already published on-line

We are very happy to share our Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. paper in collaboration with Jimenez-Osés research group has been accepted and it's already available through the journal website. This work is entitled "Iridium-Catalyzed ortho-Selective Borylation of Aromatic Amides Enabled by 5-Trifluoromethylated Bipyridine Ligands" and authored by D. Marcos-Atanes, C. Vidal, C. Navo, F. Pecatti, G. Jiménez-Osés and J. L. Mascareñas.

Abstract: Iridium-catalyzed borylations of aromatic C–H bonds are highly attractive transformations owing to the diversification possibilities offered by the resulting boronates. These transformations are best carried out using bidentate bipyridine or phenanthroline ligands, and tend to be governed by steric factors, therefore resulting in the competitive functionalization of meta and/or para positions. We have now discovered that a subtle change in the bipyridine ligand, namely, the introduction of a CF3 substituent at position 5, enables a complete alteration of regioselectivity in the borylation of aromatic amides, providing for the synthesis of a wide variety of ortho-borylated derivatives. Importantly, thorough computational studies suggest that the exquisite regio- and chemoselectivity stems from unusual outer-sphere interactions between the amide group of the substrate and the CF3–substituted aryl ring of the bipyridine ligand.

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Goodbye Sara Gutiérrez

Sara Gutiérrez Hernández has left the group and she joined the Lilly pharma company. Good luck Sara!

Sara Gutiérrez Hernández has just left the group and she has joined the pharmaceutical Eli Lilly and Company, in Madrid (Spain), for a R&D-chemistry position.

Best of luck Sara!

Goodbye Xandro Vidal and Joan Miguel

Xandro Vidal Pereira and Joan Miguel Ávila have left the group to pursue their postdoctoral careers. Good luck to you both!

Xandro Vidal Pereira and Joan Miguel Ávila, two students that started at the group as CiQUS summer fellows and then went for their MSc and PhD also with us, have just left MetBioCat and they will pursue their postdoctoral careers.

Best of luck Xandro and Joan!

Goodbye Soraya Learte

Soraya Learte-Aymamí has left the group and she joined the Janssen pharma company. Good luck Soraya!

Soraya Learte-Aymamí has just left the group and she has joined the Janssen pharma company, in Spain, for a MSL position.

Best of luck Soraya!