Peptidomimetics with Photocontrolled Biological Activity

Acronym: PELICO
Funding scheme: MSCA-RISE – Marie Sklodowska-Curie Research and Innovation Staff exchange
Contract number:  690973
Implementation period:  01.01.2016 31.12.2019
Project coordinator: Enamine Limited Liability Company, Ukraine
Project partners:

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany
Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis, Latvia
The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

Leader of Latvian team: Dr.chem. Aigars Jirgensons
Total Costs: 688 500 EUR
EU contribution: 688 500 EUR
Costs for Latvian partner: 103 500 EUR

Summary
The expertise, resources and specific knowledge of all participating parties will be combined to achieve a breakthrough in design, synthesis and application of peptide analogues (peptidomimetics) possessing photo-controlled biological activities, with special emphasis on anti-microbial and anti-cancer activities. The main idea behind the Project consists in chemical incorporation of artificial photo-controllable building blocks into known biologically active peptides by replacing their natural building blocks – the amino acid residues. Such a modification would provide photocontrolled peptidomimetics which can reversibly change their structure between two different photo-forms upon irradiation with light of different wavelength. The participating parties possess general know-how for design of the peptidomimetics which can exist in two photo-forms, biologically active and inactive ones, reversibly interconvertible by light of different wavelength. This opens a possibility to convert inactive peptidomimetics to active compounds by irradiation with physiologically benign light directly in tissues with very high spatiotemporal precision and can be a fundamental basis of new therapeutic strategies. The research staff exchange and other activities planned under the Project will be dedicated to accomplish four complementary work packages:
1) carrying out pharmacokinetic and toxicity studies of the photocontrolled peptidomimetics synthesized by the parties previously;
2) evaluation of novel photocontrolled building block chemotypes for their compatibility with peptides;
3) creation of new photocontrolled peptidomimetics, especially based on the novel building blocks and the know-how developed by the parties (e.g. using “stapled peptides” technology);
4) multidisciplinary training of the researchers whose future work will be aimed at further development of the most advanced photocontrolled peptidomimetics as drugs suitable for photodynamic therapy.