Dear Reader

I am back again with a challenge this time. My last challenge got excellent response and I finally published the findings here. This challenge is probably more to do with biochemistry and I hope the Biochemicians facebook group under Prof. PTS would find this problem interesting.

Before I define the problem, please read the posts here to know about the clinical context.

1. The Big Bang Theory

2. Beauty of dark hair.

Molecule Man
Molecule Man (Photo credit: rizkapb)

In brief, Afamelanotide is a peptide drug being developed by Clinuvel pharmaceuticals for tanning. It is a synthetic alpha-MSH analog. (Click here for details)

A new patented molecule claims to have similar mechanism of action. (Click here for details)

The challenge is to find out:

1. How similar is the patented molecule to Afamelanotide?

2. Do you think the new molecule is designed for binding to cysteine rich keratin family in the hair cuticle? Can we improve this binding further by structural alterations?

3. Is the structure optimized for cutaneous penetration? In other words, what is the polarity and other relevant chemical and physical properties of the new molecule?

Please refer to the patented molecule as ‘The bang‘ in your comments.


Bell Eapen
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