Dr Mladena Glavaš – report of the stay on a scientific short-term internship under the EPS mobility fellowship

From the 30th of October to the 30th of November, I spent one month at the University of Gdańsk (Poland), Faculty of Chemistry, Department of Molecular Biochemistry, whose head is Prof. Krzysztof Rolka. Otherwise, I am employed at the Ruđer Bošković Institute Zagreb (Croatia) in the Laboratory of Synthetic Organic Chemistry as a postdoctoral researcher.

During my month-long stay in Gdańsk, I joined the Team’s ongoing research. I cooperated with Dr Agata Gitlin-Domagalska, who heads the research topic of the use of lipophilic prodrug charge masking (LPCM) strategy in developing orally administered prodrugs of biologically relevant peptides. Continuing previous research on the introduction of an alkoxycarbonyl moiety onto the guanidino group of arginine, I conducted additional experiments necessary to publish the results [1]. I also cooperated with PhD student Aleksandra Helbik-Maciejewska on a synthesis of model tripeptides X-Trp-Gly.

In cooperation with Prof. Dawid Dębowski, I undertook the task of synthesizing a selective inhibitor (an analogue of the HV-BBI inhibitor) of one of the matriptases, which would covalently bind to the cellular target. Due to the limited time of the internship, this project was not fully successful and requires further work. Nevertheless, the results of my research set the directions for further experiments.

In the end, I want to thank EPS for financial support for a short-term internship. Besides that, I want to thank to all people in the host laboratory, and encourage all young peptide scientists to apply for an EPS fellowship.

[1] Glavaš M., Gitlin-Domagalska A., Ptaszyńska N., Starego D., Freza S., Dębowski D., Helbik-Maciejewska A., Łęgowska A., Gilon C., Rolka K., Synthesis of Novel Arginine Building Blocks with IncreasedLipophilicity Compatible with Solid-Phase Peptide Synthesis, Molecules 28 (2023) 7780;  doi: https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28237780