Abstract by Taylor Talentino
Chemistry and Biochemistry
Synthesis of Building Blocks for Yaku\'amide A Analogues
Yaku’amide A, is a rare peptide that exhibits extremely strong anti-cancer properties with an unknown mode of action. The agent has been found to possess inhibitory effects against 39 human cancer cell lines including breast, lung and colon cancer. Although not completely understood, it is thought that the β-hydroxy amino acids and the dehydroamino acids are critical in its anti-cancer mechanism. In spite of being naturally occurring in the deep-sea sponge, Ceratopsion, yaku’amide A can only be isolated in trace amounts. Because of its complex structure, laboratory synthesis of yaku’amide A has proven to be an extremely complicated process. Recently, members of Dr. Castle’s lab have condensed the original laboratory synthesis down from 86 steps to 62, however the synthesis and molecule remain too complex for the actual mode of action to be identified completely. With a correct understanding of the mode of action, the biological activity can be utilized in subsequent cancer treatments. I have worked to synthesize the building blocks required to synthesize Yaku'amide A.