The Peng Wu Group is interested in the development of novel small molecule-based chemical modulators to manipulate the pervasive protein–RNA interactions, which impact almost all cellular events. Deregulations of the complex protein-RNA network are associated with various human diseases, while very limited modulation approaches are available. We aim to develop a suit of platform strategies to tackle the challenging interaction between RNA-binding proteins and disease-associated RNAs. One approach of our research is to use charged molecular machineries to disrupt the potent interactions between RNAs and RNA-binding proteins. A second approach is to apply a molecular recruiter to achieve targeted degradation of RNAs. Another approach is to assemble a covalently-modified dual function molecule to target RNA-binding proteins for induced activation, deactivation or modifications. We investigate these approaches to discover chemical probes that unfold the biological mechanisms of protein–RNA regulatory networks and provide drug leads for small molecule-based therapeutics with new mechanisms of action.
The Wu Group also develops small-molecule probes and therapeutic candidate compounds against biomacromolecules in signal pathways and the related scaffold-diverse synthetic strategies to access these biologically active small molecules.