Chemical tools

Definition

Chemical tools are small molecules used as probes of a chemical or biological process. Studying the effects of chemical tools on a system can lead to new insight into the molecular target of the small molecule and the pathways it acts in. Chemical probes with defined targets can be attractive as drugs in clinical pharmacology.

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research |

    Delivery of antibodies into living cells enables the labelling and manipulation of intracellular antigens; however, transporting antibodies into the cytosol in a functional state is difficult. Now, a modular strategy for creating cell-permeable nanobodies capable of targeting intracellular antigens has been developed. The cell-permeable nanobodies are formed by site-specific attachment of cyclic arginine-rich cell-penetrating peptides to camelid-derived single-chain antibody fragments.

    • Henry D. Herce
    • , Dominik Schumacher
    • , Anselm F. L. Schneider
    • , Anne K. Ludwig
    • , Florian A. Mann
    • , Marion Fillies
    • , Marc-André Kasper
    • , Stefan Reinke
    • , Eberhard Krause
    • , Heinrich Leonhardt
    • , M. Cristina Cardoso
    •  & Christian P. R. Hackenberger
  • Research | | open

    Fluorescent sensors for small biomolecules are needed to shed insight into real-time cellular processes. Here the authors develop RealThiol, a sensor that can quantitatively monitor glutathione dynamics in living cells, and measure increased antioxidant capability of activated neurons and glutathione changes during ferroptosis.

    • Xiqian Jiang
    • , Jianwei Chen
    • , Aleksandar Bajić
    • , Chengwei Zhang
    • , Xianzhou Song
    • , Shaina L. Carroll
    • , Zhao-Lin Cai
    • , Meiling Tang
    • , Mingshan Xue
    • , Ninghui Cheng
    • , Christian P. Schaaf
    • , Feng Li
    • , Kevin R. MacKenzie
    • , Allan Chris M. Ferreon
    • , Fan Xia
    • , Meng C. Wang
    • , Mirjana Maletić-Savatić
    •  & Jin Wang
  • Research |

    Metabolic labelling can be used to simultaneously tag peptidoglycan, lipopolysaccharide and capsular polysaccharide of live gut bacteria, and to label peptidoglycan in vivo, revealing host–bacteria interactions within the living mammalian host.

    • Jason E. Hudak
    • , David Alvarez
    • , Ashwin Skelly
    • , Ulrich H. von Andrian
    •  & Dennis L. Kasper

News and Comment