Vol. 28 No. 1
Postgenomic Chemistry (IUPAC Technical Report)
Sergey Varfolomeyev, et al.
Pure and Applied Chemistry
Vol. 77, No. 9, pp. 1641–1654 (2005)
Systematic investigation of DNA structures and the decoding of genomes of various microorganisms, plants, and humans established the basis for a quantitative leap in modern natural science. Numerous areas of chemistry can benefit from the ongoing genomic revolution. Recent outstanding achievements in genomics and proteomics illustrate considerable potential for chemists to investigate the structure and functions of biomacromolecules and biosystems.
The bulk of information currently available on protein-coding nucleotide sequences in genomes of different species is growing exponentially. Bioinformatics and chemoinformatics methods raise the challenge of identification of all molecular structures in biological systems. In turn, these developments may lead to new fields of chemistry. Development of new large-scale and high-throughput projects oriented toward the generation and application of genomic information suggests a model for the development of chemical projects on a similar scale. The use of chemistry in the development of new biomimetic structures that incorporate artificial amino acids or other compounds is of particular importance. The following avenues represent potential advances in postgenomic chemistry:
- combinatorial chemistry and automated chemical synthesis
- synthesis of new classes of unnatural amino acids and development of new biosynthetic methods to prepare proteins containing these amino acids; studies on altering aminoacyl-tRNA-synthetase specificity by methods of molecular evolution
- chemical management of biosystems at the molecular level
- new approaches for classification of enzymes on the basis of structures of enzymatic active sites
- creation of new polymer catalysts using the principles of enzyme catalysis
- self-multiplying polymers: chemical models of DNA-polymerases
- new methods of analytical chemistry that are based on microchip and nanochip technologies
Genomic and proteomic studies can significantly influence chemical education. At present, instruction in molecular biology, genetic engineering, genomics, and proteomics in chemistry departments at most universities is unsatisfactory and should rise to the postgenomic challenge. The development of new courses such as “chemical basis of genomic studies,” “genes and genomes for chemists,” and “bio- and chemoinformatics” is essential to increasing the attractiveness of chemistry as a field of study and accelerating the development of postgenomic chemistry. This report, based on the opinions of experts working in various fields of biomolecular chemistry, should be helpful in developing strategic directions for future development of chemical sciences.
last modified 6 January 2006.
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