Macabeo of GS presents study on anti-inflammatory substances at Shanghai conference

UST Graduate School Department of Chemistry academic staff Prof. Allan Patrick Macabeo presented a paper titled “Synthesis of Cyclopentenone Conjugates with Nrf2 Modulatory and NF-κB/IL-6 Inhibitory Activity.” The presentation was held at the 23rd International Conference on Organic Synthesis (23-ICOS) in the vibrant science district of Pudong, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China from October 15 to 20, 2023 at the Zhangjiang Science Hall. The paper was co-authored by graduate student, Gabriel Luis Neri and College of Science alumnus, Hans Christian Arturo.

In the paper, a library of novel, natural products-inspired cyclopentenone derivatives were prepared synthetically using a newly developed synthetic methodology, characterized spectroscopically, and assessed for their effect on inflammatory response mediators such as Nrf2, NF-κB, and IL-6 via cell-based reporter assays. The synthetic substances presented incorporate Michael acceptor structures which activate the Nrf2/Keap1 signaling pathway through covalent modification of cysteine residues on Keap1. Nrf2 activation confers cytoprotection to normal cells by expressing genes involved in the antioxidant response and therefore an important aspect to explore in discovering new substances with anti-inflammatory action. The results of Prof. Macabeo and his co-workers point to their compounds being effective chemical templates for anti-inflammatory drug designs.

23-ICOS with its theme “Synthesis for our Future” was jointly hosted by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) and the Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry (SIOC) and was chaired by Academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Professor Dawei Ma. With the main goal of center staging frontiers in organic synthesis, ICOS was initiated by IUPAC in 1976 as a biennial meeting of synthetic organic chemists which has showcased numerous advances in organic chemistry worldwide. The Conference was held in PR China for the first time and provided excellent platforms for world-leading organic chemists to present latest advances in total synthesis, catalysis, reaction methodology development and chemical biology. The opening ceremonies was highlighted by a plenary talk of 2021 Nobel Laureate Chemist Prof. Dr. Benjamin List of the Max Planck Institute for Coal Research, Germany with the title, “Universal Organocatalysts for Our World”. Over 1,000 delegates attended this prestigious conference. The four congresses were previously held in Mumbai (India for 21-ICOS) in 2016, Budapest (Hungary for 20-ICOS) in 2014, and Melbourne (Australia for 19-ICOS) in 2012.

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