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Jin Receives NIH Grant to Develop Chemical Probes

Jin Receives NIH Grant to Develop Chemical Probes

Jian Jin and the G9a- and GLP-specific in vitro chemical probe he developed in 2011. His new NIH R01 grant will support work to create in vivo chemical probes targeting the same proteins.

07/10/2013

Two years ago, Jian Jin, PhD, and a team of researchers created chemical probes that specifically hone in on the enzymes G9a and GLP, two relatively new potential drug targets. Now, Jin has an R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health to take that research to the next level.

Jin, an associate professor at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, has received a three-year, $950,000 grant to develop in vivo chemical probes for targeting the two proteins, which affect a wide range of biological functions in humans. The research will build on Jin’s work in 2011, when he led a team that created a cellular chemical probe that inhibits only G9a and GLP, allowing researchers to study their effects.

“The probe we created in 2011 was developed for cell-based studies,” says Jin, the associate director of medicinal chemistry at the School’s Center for Integrative Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery. “This new grant will support efforts to develop probes that are suitable for animal studies and will be extremely useful for testing biological and disease hypotheses concerning these two proteins in vivo.”

G9a and GLP belong to a class of proteins called epigenetic regulators, which determine cell functions by controlling the expression of genes in each cell. G9a and GLP have been linked to a variety of conditions, such as cancer, cocaine addiction, mental retardation, and HIV latency.

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