Chemical biology

Definition

Chemical biology is the study of the chemicals and chemical reactions involved in biological processes, incorporating the disciplines of bioorganic chemistry, biochemistry, cell biology and pharmacology. Chemicals – including natural small molecules, such as lipids, carbohydrates and metals, or non-natural probe or drug molecules – are used to gain insight into biological problems at a mechanistic level.

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Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research |

    A pathway for the production of aromatic amino acid metabolites in Clostridium sporogenes is described; modulation of serum levels of these metabolites in gnotobiotic mice affects intestinal permeability and systemic immunity.

    • Dylan Dodd
    • , Matthew H. Spitzer
    • , William Van Treuren
    • , Bryan D. Merrill
    • , Andrew J. Hryckowian
    • , Steven K. Higginbottom
    • , Anthony Le
    • , Tina M. Cowan
    • , Garry P. Nolan
    • , Michael A. Fischbach
    •  & Justin L. Sonnenburg
  • Research |

    Cancers growing in high-oxygen environments, such as lung adenocarcinomas, select for the iron–sulfur cluster synthesizing enzyme NFS1 to support malignant proliferation and to protect from oxidative damage.

    • Samantha W. Alvarez
    • , Vladislav O. Sviderskiy
    • , Erdem M. Terzi
    • , Thales Papagiannakopoulos
    • , Andre L. Moreira
    • , Sylvia Adams
    • , David M. Sabatini
    • , Kıvanç Birsoy
    •  & Richard Possemato
  • Research | | open

    Predatory or competitive interactions between microbes are poorly understood but likely influence global nutrient cycles. Here, the authors show that Pseudomonas bacteria could immobilize algal cells, potential prey, by releasing secondary metabolites that induce a Ca2+ signal and algal deflagellation.

    • Prasad Aiyar
    • , Daniel Schaeme
    • , María García-Altares
    • , David Carrasco Flores
    • , Hannes Dathe
    • , Christian Hertweck
    • , Severin Sasso
    •  & Maria Mittag
  • Research | | open

    Diabetes treatments often rely on frequent and scheduled drug administration, which reduces patient compliance and increases treatment cost. Here, the authors develop a microneedle-array patch that separately loads drug-releasing module and glucose-sensing element for on-demand, long-term diabetes therapy.

    • Wei Chen
    • , Rui Tian
    • , Can Xu
    • , Bryant C. Yung
    • , Guohao Wang
    • , Yijing Liu
    • , Qianqian Ni
    • , Fuwu Zhang
    • , Zijian Zhou
    • , Jingjing Wang
    • , Gang Niu
    • , Ying Ma
    • , Liwu Fu
    •  & Xiaoyuan Chen
  • Research | | open

    Dense connective tissues do not easily heal, in part due to a low supply of reparative cells. Here, the authors develop a fibrous scaffold for meniscal repair that sequentially releases collagenase and a growth factor at the injury site, breaking down the extracellular matrix and recruiting endogenous cells.

    • Feini Qu
    • , Julianne L. Holloway
    • , John L. Esterhai
    • , Jason A. Burdick
    •  & Robert L. Mauck

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