The Pomerantz lab is a chemical biology group at the University of Minnesota. Our interdisciplinary research uses a wide range of techniques including organic synthesis, bioanalytical chemistry, biochemistry and molecular biology for studying the function of transcription factors involved in disease. Our primary goal is to discover small molecules which we can synthesize in the laboratory to modulate the function of protein-protein interactions involved in transcription, with the ultimate goal of developing new chemical probes for understanding the biology of these proteins.
Our Research: Our overarching goal is to discover new ways to inhibit protein-protein interactions (PPIs) involved in transcription. Our research seeks to understand the molecular level details of transcription factor-protein interactions and epigenetic complexes which control how our genetic information is expressed. At the same time, we use chemistry to design synthetic molecules that disrupt the dysregulated forms of PPI communication to further understand the underlying biology and treat disease. We apply NMR and MRI, to visualize biomolecular interactions, and use small molecules that we synthesize in the laboratory to perturb the protein function. Students and postdocs working in this area are exposed to broad training in organic synthesis, protein biochemistry, fragment-based drug design and additional applied biophysics techniques to validate our 19F NMR approach.
Given that transcription factors represent a major class of potential drug targets and the demand for structural methods to characterize them, our biomolecular 19F NMR approach for transcription factor-PPIs could significantly increase the repertoire of new targets and open up new paths forward for small molecule discovery.
Congratulations to Caroline for being accepted onto the Chemical Biology Training Grant with co-mentor Laurie Parker regarding "Chemical Probe Development of BPTF Reader Domains." Additionally, congratulations to Caroline for passing her oral exam and earning Ph.D candidate status!
Congratulations to Peter, Huda, Noelle, Jorden and Siva for their publication of "New inhibitors for the BPTF bromodomain enabled by structural biology and biophysical assay development" to Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry. Their work highlights the cross-validation of inhibitor analysis for BPTF by using three different biophysical assays.
You can read more about their work by following this link.
Congratulations to the members of the Pomerantz lab for their hard work in publishing two new journal articles.
Anil, Steve, Jorden, Jennifer, and Danika all worked on developing an efficient way to synthesize thiazapanes for 3D fragment screening libraries. Their article, "Efficient Synthesis of 1,4-Thiazepanones and 1,4-Thiazepanes as 3D Fragments for Screening Libraries" was published to Organic Letters. The full paper can be found here.
Congratulations to Zach, Logan, and Samantha for winning three departmental scholarships for academic and research excellence. We appreciate their hard work, and the wonderful mentorship from Prakriti, Huarui, and Noelle. Their awards and recognition can be seen here.
Zach earned the Dr. Paul F. and Patricia Guehler Chemistry Scholarship, which is awarded to a chemistry major who has shown outstanding academic achievement.