Electrophilic organic compounds, which enter the human organism from the environment or are formed in vivo as reactive metabolic intermediates, can bind to the nucleophilic sites in proteins and nucleic acids causing damage to these important biomolecules. Binding to the DNA may change genetic information via mutations and may eventually lead to the initiation of carcinogenesis. This process can be studied directly by analysing DNA adducts, or also indirectly, by analysing adducts with blood proteins, i.e., albumin and globin. Both of these adduct types can be used as biomarkers of exposure to electrophilic chemicals as well as biomarkers of the DNA damage, which is connected with carcinogenicity.
We are interested in chemical aspects of the interactions of xenobiotics with important biomolecular targets. Our aim is to develop synthetic methods for preparation of analytical standards to be used for development of new methods of biological monitoring based on determination of DNA and/or protein adducts in body fluids. These standards include derivatives of adenine, guanine and of some amino acids (cysteine, valine, lysine). These are used in research on new methods of biological monitoring. In this field our group collaborates with the group of dr. Jaroslav Mráz of the National Institute of Public Health in Prague.
We also participate in a research on the metabolism of new synthetic drugs, which appear on the illegal street market.