SUPRAGENE: Supramolecular chemistry and gene therapeutic potential of amine-substituted cyclodextrin end-functionalized triazine dendrimers based on melamine.

The project SUPRAGENE focuses on the development of novel cyclodextrin end-functionalized triazine dendrimers as potent systems for application in supramolecular chemistry and gene transfer as well.

Dendrimers is a subject of immense academic and industrial interest. Amongst their evaluation in several concepts, they have highly been involved in supramolecular chemistry, and since they have unique architectures and unusual properties, it has been very clear that rich additional and more refined findings are likely to emerge within the future.

There is no doubt that chemistry, and notably supramolecular chemistry is strongly related to biology. Dendrimers, which are systems with unique features upon self-assembly and host-guest properties, have been shown to self-assemble with plasmid DNA, and the formation of this complex appears to be critical for nonviral gene delivery. This expanding and highly competitive research field requires more and more efforts with respect to gene therapy.

The two research groups of the host organisation involved in the proposed project, with expertise in organic/organometallic chemistry and homogeneous catalysis (G1, I.D. Kostas) and molecular biology of cancer (G2, V.Zoumpourlis), will carry out multidisciplinary research to develop competence in the fields of supramolecular chemistry (self-assembly, host-guest complex, molecular recognition, transition-metal catalysis) and gene transfer as well, using the above-mentioned novel dendritic systems. The transfer of knowledge regarding supramolecular chemistry employing nano-sized structures such as dendrimers is a research area of high interest for the Host organisation situated in a less-favoured region of the EU, since in the twenty-first century the emergence of the nanotechnology age is proposed. In addition, the development of strategic concepts for gene transfer using novel dendrimers is therefore a very important function for the promotion of cancer research and it is essential to the advancement of oncology into the new century. The efforts will be strongly reinforced by the transfer of knowledge of the incoming experienced researchers as well as the multidisciplinary expertise of the two partner labs (Max-Planck Institut fur Kohlenforschung and Paterson Institute for Cancer Research, respectively), leaders in the fields covered by the proposal. SUPRAGENE not only will dramatically increase the scientific potential of the Host organisation, but it is also anticipated to increase European scientific potential and competitiveness in fields which are currently of high importance.




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