Nucleic Acids & Supramolecular Chemistry

The Purse Group at SDSU is a diverse team of graduate and undergraduate researchers using the tools of synthetic and physical organic chemistry to address challenges in the chemical biology of nucleic acids and supramolecular chemistry.

Research Highlights

Purse Lab paper: ChemPlusChem 2020, 85, 855–865.

Purse Lab Ph.D. student Ben Turner has published a new paper showing that fluorescent tricyclic cytidine analogues are substrates for the reverse transcriptases (RTs) of three retroviruses: avian myeloblastosis virus (AMV), Moloney murine leukemia virus (M‐MLV), and human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV‐1). These RTs use the fluorescent substrate analogues to synthesize a fluorescently labeled double-stranded DNA from an RNA template, with possible future applications in studying retroviral replication. Read more here!

Purse Lab paper: Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 2020, 30, 126818.

Ph.D. student George Samaan of the Purse Lab has designed, synthesized, and tested new 8-oxoguanosine analogues to inhibit GTP cyclohydrolase IB, an enzyme essential for the growth and survival of some pathogenic bacteria including N. gonorrhoeae. George’s strategy, which includes further designs that we will publish in the future, presents an opportunity to create a new class of antibiotics against resistant pathogens. Read all about it here!

Purse Lab paper: Org. Chem. Front. 20196, 1361–1366.

Purse Lab students led by undergraduate researcher Irazema Islas, along with collaborators in the Holland Lab at SDSU, have published a paper showing that self-assembled molecular capsules prepared by ball milling offer liquid state-like interiors with the tiny volume of 1 nm^3! Click here to read about the team’s insights into this remarkable nanoscale chemical environment.

Purse Lab paper: J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017, 139, 1372–1375.

The Purse Lab has invented a new cytidine analogue that becomes vastly more fluorescent upon incorporation into double-stranded DNA. Remarkably, the fluorescence turn-on response is specific to correct base pairing with guanosine, allowing visual discrimination of matched sequences, as shown in the photo below (left to right: single stranded probe, matched duplex, mismatched duplex). This fluorescence turn-on response promises new applications in biophysics. Read the details here!