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Molecular Recognition of DNA by Small Molecules

Dervan, Peter B. (2001) Molecular Recognition of DNA by Small Molecules. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry, 9 (9). pp. 2215-2235. ISSN 09680896. doi:10.1016/S0968-0896(01)00262-0.

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Chemists, like artists, are able to construct new three-dimensional objects, molecules and materials that exist only in the mind of a person. I became interested in creating novel molecular shapes with properties different from those found in nature shortly after arriving at Caltech in 1973. One cannot design without the brushes and paint of the craft. Indeed, modern organic chemists, standing on the shoulders of the pioneering achievements of Woodward, Corey, Merrifield, and others are able to apply the power of synthetic chemistry and the logic of incremental change to the field of structure–function. In early 1973, I was inspired by the work of Lehn and Cram in the field of host–guest chemistry where early studies were largely conducted in organic solvents (e.g., cation–crown complexation). I decided that a pivotal path forward would be to understand in a predictive mechanistic sense how to create ensembles of weak bonds between synthetic ligands and biological macromolecules in water, the solvent of life.

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Dervan, Peter B.0000-0001-8852-7306
Additional Information:© 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. Accepted 17 July 2001. The research described in this article was performed by a gifted and dedicated group of co-workers to whom I am indebted. I am grateful to the National Institutes of Health which has served as a primary source of funding. Three mentors have profoundly influenced me. Jerome A. Berson helped me discover the joy of research. I have been inspired by John D. Roberts’ commitment to Caltech, a truly wonderful institution. Arnold O. Beckman, inventor and philanthropist, taught me the importance of giving back. I am the beneficiary of some wonderful collaborators who have enriched this entire research effort: David Wemmer (NMR structures), Doug Rees (X-ray structures), Joel Gottesfeld (gene inhibition), Mark Ptashne (gene activation), Karolin Luger (chromatin), Don Crothers (kinetics), Ken Breslauer (thermodynamics), Terry Beerman (cellular uptake). I thank Michael Waring and Claude Hélène for helpful discussions over the years.
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Issue or Number:9
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:58875
Deposited By: Victoria Brennan
Deposited On:22 Jul 2015 18:40
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 22:11

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