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Thursday, November 1, 2018

Today's Message

Posted: Thursday, November 1, 2018

Today: Chemistry-Physics Departmental Seminar Series: 'Peptoid Combinatorial Strategies for Targeting Unconventional Biomarkers in Cancer'

Please join the Chemistry and Physics departments for the seminar “Peptoid Combinatorial Strategies for Targeting Unconventional Biomarkers in Cancer,” presented by Gomika Udugamasooriya, associate professor of medicinal chemistry at the University of Houston, today, November 1, from 12:15 to 1:30 p.m. in Technology Building 160. All students, staff, and faculty are welcome.

We have been exploring peptoids, an emerging class of biologically amenable and easy-to-synthesize peptidomimetics with great drug-like properties, focusing on cancer treatment and imaging. We developed a unique on-bead two-color (OBTC) combinatorial cell screen to directly identify the highest specificity ligands for cell surface biomarkers out of on-bed peptoid libraries that has millions of permutations. Recent “unbiased” applications using this OBTC assay developed a new approach for targeting unconventional biomarkers such as structural proteins and lipids. For example, we identified a peptoid called PPS1 targeting lipid-PS, which is typically found in the inner layer of the cell membrane, but flipped to outer layer in cancer and tumor endothelial cells. More importantly, PS is found globally in tumor microenvironments, which makes it a global target as opposed to conventional protein targets that are highly heterogeneously expressed. Also, when we screened on cancer stem cells (CSCs), we identified a peptoid called PCS2 targeting plectin, which is a structural protein. Plectin is ubiquitously found on cytosol of normal and cancer cells, but localized onto CSC surface supporting metastasis.

Submitted by: Sujit Suwal