Elucidating the mechanisms by which biomolecules are chemically modified and how these alterations regulate biological pathways represents a leading frontier in chemical biology.
Focus on Biomolecular Tailoring
Nucleic acids, proteins and other biological macromolecules undergo chemical tailoring reactions during their biosynthesis and as they execute their biological functions. In our March 2018 issue, Nature Chemical Biology highlights several classes of post-translational modifications of proteins, as well as chemical modifications of nucleic acids, lipids, and carbohydrates, and explores the role of chemical biology in understanding the structural diversity and functional roles of these important biomolecules.
Post-translational modifications (PTMs) are ubiquitous in all forms of life and often modulate critical protein functions. Recent chemical and biological advances have finally enabled scientists to precisely modify proteins at physiologically relevant positions, ushering in a new era of protein studies.
Mycobacteria produce carbohydrates of exceptional structures that are covalently modified by unique substituents, whose functional characterization could expand our understanding of how mycobacteria adapt to their environment.