Pentapeptide Synthesis, Cleavage, and Purification
Dr. Owen McDougal
Biomedical research to develop therapeutic treatments for Parkinson’s Disease (PD) at Boise State University is being conducted by rational design, synthesis, and biological testing of novel peptide ligands. These peptides interact with nicotinic acetylcholine receptors found in abundance in the human brain that regulate the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Student training in the synthesis, cleavage and purification of peptide ligands begins with pentapeptides. Upon demonstrated proficiency with the process, larger 16 amino acid peptides that are analogs of venom components of snails of the genus Conus will be produced. The work described is the optimization of the process by which peptides can be synthesized in the research laboratory at Boise State University. The goal of this project is to improve the overall process of peptide synthesis prior to the large scale production of larger, and thus more expensive, α-conotoxins.