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Cai, Jianfeng

Jainfeng Cai

University of South Florida

Talk Title

Sulfonyl-γ-AApeptides: Structure and Function

Presentation Time

Monday, June 26, 2023, at 10:00 am - 10:20 am

The identification and development of sequence-specific peptidomimetics is of significance in bioorganic chemistry and chemical biology. A new class of peptidomimetics termed "AApeptides" was recently developed by our group. As a subclass of AApeptides, sulfono-γ-AApeptides are resistant to proteolytic degradation, and possess limitless potential to introduce chemically diverse functional groups.

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Moreover, they are able to fold into well-defined secondary and tertiary structures, confirmed by crystal and solution structures. They have shown premise by mimicking protein helical domains and modulate disease related protein-protein interactions, including p53/MDM2, BCL9/β-catenin, GLP-1, VEGF/VEGFR, et cetera.


Peng Sang, Yan Shi, Bo Huang, Songyi Xue, Timothy Odom, and Jianfeng Cai. Sulfono-γ-AApeptides as Helical Mimetics: Crystal Structures and Applications. Acc. Chem. Res. 2020, 53, 10, 2425.

Professor Jinfeng Cai is Professor of Chemistry at the University of South Florida. He earned his Ph.D. at Washington University in St. Louis, 2006, under Professor John-Stephen A. Taylor, and did his Postdoctoral Associate time at Yale University with Professor Andrew D. Hamilton

The research in the Cai laboratory is focused on the expansion of interdisciplinary research at the interface of chemistry and biology to discover novel peptidomimetics and other small molecules that modulate protein-protein interactions involved in critical cellular processes. Understanding how these compounds interact with proteins will help to reveal mechanisms governing cell activities. Lab members are particularly interested in developing compounds that lead to the design of novel therapeutics potentially targeting cancer, HIV, Alzheimer’s disease, et cetera.

Jainfeng Cai
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