Professor Lowell Hall's work published in Chemistry and Biodiversity

Research by Lowell H. Hall (59), an ENC professor of chemistry, was just published in the journal Chemistry and Biodiversity. The Lowell Hallresearch work was carried out in collaboration with Boris Spasov (03), who received degrees in chemistry, biology, and business from ENC. This investigation was carried out during a summer research project in Hall’s long-standing research program at ENC. 

The current work deals with the biological effect of a series of dipeptides, small molecules consisting of two amino acids. One data set involves biological data for the inhibition of the dipeptides against Angiotensin Converting Enzyme, known as ACE. The dipeptides in this study were part of a pharmaceutical industry effort done to develop ACE inhibitors as antihypertensive drugs that eventually lead to some of the most potent drugs of this type. The other data set involved the bitter-tasting effect of the dipeptides and is of interest to the food industry. 

Spasov and Hall adapted Hall’s electrotopological state descriptors and his molecular connectivity indices specifically for use with amino acid side-chains. This is the first reported modeling using Hall’s structure descriptors in this manner. 

In their paper Hall and Spasov compared the results of their modeling with previous work. Hall and Spasov’s analysis clearly demonstrated the superiority of their modeling approach.  
"We hope to extend this type of modeling on peptides to other pharmacological classes of drugs and drug candidates based on peptides and peptidomimetics," said Hall. 

The paper appears in a special edition of the Chemistry and Biodiversity journal devoted to research carried out by scientists associated with the Virginia Commonwealth Center for the Study of Biological Complexity. Hall is an external fellow of the Center.