News tagged with small molecules

Single enzyme is necessary for development of diabetes

An enzyme called 12-LO promotes the obesity-induced oxidative stress in the pancreatic cells that leads to pre-diabetes, and diabetes. 12-LO's enzymatic action is the last step in the production of certain small molecules ...

Aug 14, 2014
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The secret life of serotonin

As a graduate student, Chris Skipwith studied cardiovascular disease and was particularly interested in the biophysics of the proteins involved in blood clotting. "We were very interested in how clotting ...

Jun 10, 2014
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New idea for targeting the common cancer protein KRAS

Patients with cancers driven by the protein KRAS, which are particularly hard to treat, may benefit from small molecules that attach to and disrupt the function of a KRAS-containing protein complex, according to results presented ...

Oct 20, 2013
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Novel small molecules used to visualize prostate cancer

Two novel radiolabeled small molecules targeting prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) have excellent potential for further development as diagnostic and therapeutic radiopharmaceuticals, according to research published ...

Mar 05, 2013
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Small molecule

In pharmacology and biochemistry, a small molecule is an organic compound that is not a polymer. Biopolymers such as nucleic acids, proteins, and polysaccharides (such as starch or cellulose) are not small molecules, although their constituent monomers—ribo- or deoxyribonucleotides, amino acids, and monosaccharides, respectively—are often considered to be. Very small oligomers are also usually considered small molecules, such as dinucleotides, peptides such as the antioxidant glutathione, and disaccharides such as sucrose.

While small molecules almost always have a lower molecular weight than biopolymers, a very small protein with a defined fold, such as the artificial ten-amino-acid protein chignolin[1], can indeed be smaller than some exceptionally large small molecules such as triglycerides.

Small molecules can have a variety of biological functions, serving as cell signalling molecules, as tools in molecular biology, as drugs in medicine, and in countless other roles. These compounds can be natural (such as secondary metabolites) or artificial (such as antiviral drugs); they may have a beneficial effect against a disease (such as FDA approved drugs) or may be detrimental (such as teratogens and carcinogens).

This text uses material from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA