Issue Date: October 1, 2007
Fluorous Tag Strategy Builds Microarrays
Fluorocarbon chains are viable mediators for assembling small-molecule microarrays on functionalized glass slides, according to a pair of studies (Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., DOI: 10.1002/anie.200703198 and Chem. Commun. 2007, 3906). Microarrays are important screening tools for discovering protein/small-molecule interactions. But making arrays by covalently attaching molecules to slides often requires extensive manipulation and doesn't guarantee reliable arrays. Now, independent teams led by Stuart L. Schreiber of Harvard University and MIT's Broad Institute and David R. Spring of the University of Cambridge utilize specific noncovalent interactions between perfluoroalkyl tags attached to various substrates and fluoroalkylsilane-coated slides to produce small-molecule arrays. This work builds on Iowa State University chemist Nicola L. Pohl's successful construction of carbohydrate microarrays using similar fluorinated tags. The new microarrays perform consistently in screening protein/small-molecule interactions. For example, Schreiber's team used the arrays to help identify inhibitors of histone deacetylases, which are enzymes implicated in transcription regulation and human disease.
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