CD2011 delegates at the Said Business School, Oxford
At CD2011, delegates presented new theoretical and practical advances in the field including the fundamental forces influencing chiral transitions, the origins of homochirality in the universe, nano- and meta-materials and single particle spectroscopy, and emerging techniques such as vibrational CD and Raman Optical Activity. The conference was organised by Prof Giuliano Siligardi and Dr Rohanah Hussain of B23 beamline team from Diamond Light Source together with Dr George Tranter (Chiralab) and Prof Laurence Barron (University of Glasgow) at the Said Business School.
Circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy is a powerful analytical technique for investigating the secondary structure of proteins and for determining the absolute configurations of chiral compounds. It works because different chiral configurations, known as ‘enantiomers’, absorb left- and right-circularly polarised light to differing degrees. CD spectroscopy uses polarized light, mainly in the ultra-violet spectrum, to analyse non-crystalline samples in dilute solution, and can measure molecular binding affinity directly, without labelling or immobilising any of the ligand/receptor components. This makes CD the ideal technique to investigate protein/ligand binding interactions of these important systems involved in signal transduction of normal and tumour cells.
Chirality is an important property of chemical and biological systems, and the chiral nature of organic molecules is central to the origin of life. For example, although many molecules have ‘left-handed’ and ‘right-handed’ enantiomers, nearly all naturally occurring proteins are ‘left-handed’, made up of L amino acids, while sugars tend to be ‘right-handed’, composed of D-saccharides. They often taste and smell different and have different effects; enzymes and drugs distinguish between enantiomers of a chiral substrate, in the same way that a glove only fits one hand or the other.
Diamond’s B23 Circular Dichroism beamline
produces a high intensity collimated UV beam of about 0.5 mm across, enabling the measurement of small volumes of sample solutions with high signal-to-noise ratios. It is used by researchers in biological, biochemical, chemical, pharmaceutical, and crystallographic sciences to examine a range of biological macromolecules and drug complexes.
For full details of the conference programme and abstracts of the presentations, visit www.cd2011.org