DGIST Discovers Control of Cell Signaling Using a Cobalt (III)–Nitrosyl Complex

Joint research team of Professors Jaeheung Cho and Daeha Seo in the Department of Emerging Materials Science developed a technology to control the generation of nitric oxide in cells. Proposed the possibility of additional research related to cell signal transfer.

Professor Jaeheung Cho (front left) - Professor Daeha Seo (front right), and research team in the Department of Emerging Materials Science

Two professors’ joint research team discovered how to synthesize new materials to deliver nitric oxide, which controls cell activation signal. The cell signaling control is expected to contribute positively to the development of treatment for cardiovascular diseases.

DGIST announced on June 24 that Professor Jaeheung Cho and Professor Daeha Seo’s research teams in the Department of Emerging Materials Science developed a stable cobalt(III)–nitrosyl[1] complex and confirmed the changes of signal transmission path of nitric oxide inside the cells.

Nitric oxide controls cell activities by delivering various biochemical information including vasodilation, immunity system control, and signal transmission. However, scientists haven’t been able to clarify the detail in nitric oxide delivery to cells due to difficulties in controlling and regulating its movement, although they have assumed nitric oxide movement to cells.

To identify this, the research team synthesized cobalt(III)–nitrosyl complex on their own, enabling an additional research on nitric oxide by shedding light on it and moving nitric oxide to a desired place at a desired time. As a result, the research team confirmed differences in the delivery kinetics of nitric oxide to various paths in and outside the cells. The difference of delivery speed observed by the research team is expected to greatly impact the development of treatment in the future. If used well, a desired chemical reaction can occur at a desired time in a certain cell, enabling necessary treatment. This can be applied to various areas since it is related to the development of ‘Prodrug[2],’ which becomes effective in a specific area that needs treatment.

Professor Jaeheung Cho said “We highly look forward to developing a prodrug that effectively supplies nitric oxide to a necessary area or time. By expanding our research to animal behavior and human body, we plan to develop treatment for cardiovascular diseases related to vasodilation and enhancement of nueroplasticity.

This research was performed with the support of the National Research Foundation (NRF) and the Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIP) and Future Planning (DGIST R&D Program, ERC and C1 Gas Refinery) of South Korea. The research was published on the online version of international chemistry journals (Angewandte Chemie International Edition) on June 13.

[1] Nitrosyl: An atom group combined by one nitrogen atom and one oxygen atom
[2] Prodrug: A drug that induces chemical reaction according to an intended objective after injection

For more information, contact:
Jaeheung Cho, Associate Professor
Department of Emerging Materials Science
Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology (DGIST)
E-mail: [email protected]

Image 2

Diagram on the delivery of nitric oxide by cobalt(III)–nitrosyl complex

Published: 29 Jul 2019

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333, Techno jungang-daero, Hyeonpung-myeon, Dalseong-gun, Daegu, 42988

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Sangwon Shin, Jisu Choe, Youngchan Park, Donghyun Jeong, Hyunjoon Song, Youngmin You, Daeha Seo, and Jaeheung Cho, "Artificial Control of Cell Signaling Using a Photocleavable Cobalt(III)–Nitrosyl Complex", Angewandte Chemie International Edition, Published on June 13th, 2019.