Feb 14, 2023

A new class of medicinal compounds that target RNA

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry

A team of undergraduate and graduate chemistry students in Jennifer Hines’ lab at Ohio University recently uncovered a new class of compounds that can target RNA and disrupt its function. This discovery identified a chemical scaffold that could ultimately be used in the development of RNA-targeted medicines to treat bacterial and viral infections, as well as cancer and metabolic diseases.

RNA is chemically like DNA but also controls the extent to which the DNA’s instructions are carried out within a living cell. It is this essential regulatory role in the function of the cell that makes RNA such an attractive target.

“Trying to target RNA is at the forefront of medicinal chemistry research with enormous potential for treating diseases,” said Hines, professor of chemistry and biochemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences. “However, there are relatively few compounds known to directly modulate RNA activity which makes it challenging to design new RNA-targeted therapeutics.”

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