Design and synthesis of new small molecules that non-covalently bind to DNA / RNA, determination of their affinity and mode of binding as well as DNA/RNA induced spectroscopic changes.
Recognition is manifested by difference in affinity and / or differences in spectroscopic response caused by binding of small molecule to targeted DNA / RNA.
Small molecules designed and synthesized are characterized by heterocyclic aromatic systems (usually DNA / RNA intercalators, such as pyrene, phenanthridine, etc.) equipped by various substituents that control selectivity.
Increasing number and complexity of methods which are applied for studies of interactions of small molecules with biologically important macromolecules mostly exceed research capabilities of a single scientist. Therefore, for an efficient research in this area research teams are essential, preferentially consisting of scientists with different education background (chemists, biologists, etc). A large number of research groups in Croatia as well as in the EU occasionally or continuously have a need to examine the interaction of their small molecules with biomacromolecules at the simplest level (small molecule + biomacromolecule in biologically relevant medium). Consequently, in the last 10 years group has published joined research results with 12 research groups.
Research of LBIS group is closely coordinated with groups that study in vitrobiological activity of small molecules based on direct or indirect damage cellular DNA or RNA within the Croatian National Program No 0982914 as well as through the formal collaboration on the Ruđer Bošković Institute (Dr. sc. M. Kralj, Division of Molecular Medicine). It should be stressed that results (information about small molecule-DNA/RNA interactions at the simplest level), more often than not save time and valuable material needed for biological testing and moreover frequently influence the choice of biological methods for study of detailed mechanisms of action.
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