skip to main content

Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Cheng, Jianjun"

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Inhibition of overexpressed enzymes is among the most promising approaches for targeted cancer treatment. However, many cancer-expressed enzymes are “nonlethal,” in that the inhibition of the enzymes’ activity is insufficient to kill cancer cells. Conventional antibody-based therapeutics can mediate efficient treatment by targeting extracellular nonlethal targets but can hardly target intracellular enzymes. Herein, we report a cancer targeting and treatment strategy to utilize intracellular nonlethal enzymes through a combination of selective cancer stem-like cell (CSC) labeling and Click chemistry-mediated drug delivery. A de novo designed compound, AAMCHO [N-(3,4,6-triacetyl- N-azidoacetylmannosamine)-cis-2-ethyl-3-formylacrylamideglycoside], selectively labeled cancer CSCs in vitro and in vivo through enzymatic oxidation by intracellular aldehyde dehydrogenase 1A1. Notably, azide labeling is more efficient in identifying tumorigenic cell populations than endogenous markers such as CD44. A dibenzocyclooctyne (DBCO)-toxin conjugate, DBCO-MMAE (Monomethylauristatin E), could next target the labeled CSCs in vivo via bioorthogonal Click reaction to achieve excellent anticancer efficacy against a series of tumor models, including orthotopic xenograft, drug-resistant tumor, and lung metastasis with low toxicity. A 5/7 complete remission was observed after single-cycle treatment of an advanced triple-negative breast cancer xenograft (~500 mm3).

    more » « less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 5, 2024
  2. null (Ed.)
  3. null (Ed.)
    With PEG-like properties, such as hydrophilicity and stealth effect against protein absorption, oligo(ethylene glycol) (OEG)-functionalized polypeptides have emerged as a new class of biomaterials alternative to PEG with polypeptide-like properties. Synthesis of this class of materials, however, has been demonstrated very challenging, as the synthesis and purification of OEG-functionalized N -carboxyanhydrides (OEG-NCAs) in high purity, which is critical for the success in polymerization, is tedious and often results in low yield. OEG-functionalized polypeptides are therefore only accessible to a few limited labs with expertise in this specialized NCA chemistry and materials. Here, we report the controlled synthesis of OEG-functionalized polypeptides in high yield directly from the OEG-functionalized amino acids via easy and reproducible polymerization of non-purified OEG-NCAs. The prepared amphiphilic block copolypeptides can self-assemble into narrowly dispersed nanoparticles in water, which show properties suitable for drug delivery applications. 
    more » « less
  4. null (Ed.)
  5. Abstract

    Macrocycles are unique molecular structures extensively used in the design of catalysts, therapeutics and supramolecular assemblies. Among all reactions reported to date, systems that can produce macrocycles in high yield under high reaction concentrations are rare. Here we report the use of dynamic hindered urea bond (HUB) for the construction of urea macrocycles with very high efficiency. Mixing of equal molar diisocyanate and hindered diamine leads to formation of macrocycles with discrete structures in nearly quantitative yields under high concentration of reactants. The bulkyN-tert-butyl plays key roles to facilitate the formation of macrocycles, providing not only the kinetic control due to the formation of the cyclization-promotingcisC = O/tert-butyl conformation, but also possibly the thermodynamic stabilization of macrocycles with weak association interactions. The bulkyN-tert-butyl can be readily removed by acid to eliminate the dynamicity of HUB and stabilize the macrocycle structures.

    more » « less
  6. Abstract

    The recent advances in accelerated polymerization ofN-carboxyanhydrides (NCAs) enriched the toolbox to prepare well-defined polypeptide materials. Herein we report the use of crown ether (CE) to catalyze the polymerization of NCA initiated by conventional primary amine initiators in solvents with low polarity and low hydrogen-bonding ability. The cyclic structure of the CE played a crucial role in the catalysis, with 18-crown-6 enabling the fastest polymerization kinetics. The fast polymerization kinetics outpaced common side reactions, enabling the preparation of well-defined polypeptides using an α-helical macroinitiator. Experimental results as well as the simulation methods suggested that CE changed the binding geometry between NCA and propagating amino chain-end, which promoted the molecular interactions and lowered the activation energy for ring-opening reactions of NCAs. This work not only provides an efficient strategy to prepare well-defined polypeptides with functionalized C-termini, but also guides the design of catalysts for NCA polymerization.

    more » « less