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Structure-based drug discovery and protein targets in the CNS

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature review

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JournalNEUROPHARMACOLOGY
DatePublished - Jan 2011
Issue number1
Volume60
Number of pages17
Pages (from-to)723
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Structure-based methods are having an increasing role and impact in drug discovery. The crystal structures of an increasing number of therapeutic targets are becoming available. These structures can transform our understanding of how these proteins perform their biological function and often provide insights into the molecular basis of disease. In addition, the structures can help the discovery process. Methods such as virtual screening and experimental fragment screening can provide starting hit compounds for a discovery project. Crystal structures of compounds bound to the protein can direct or guide the medicinal chemistry optimisation to improve drug-like properties - not only providing ideas on how to improve binding affinity or selectivity, but also showing where the compound can be modified in attempting to modulate physico-chemical properties and biological efficacy. The majority of drug discovery projects against globular protein targets now use these methods at some stage.

This review provides a summary of the range of structure-based drug discovery methods that are in use and surveys the suitability of the methods for targets currently identified for CNS drugs. Until recently, structure-based discovery was difficult or unknown for these targets. The recent determination of the structures of a number of GPCR proteins, together with the steady increase in structures for other membrane proteins, is opening up the possibility for these structure-based methods to find increased use in drug discovery for CNS diseases and conditions. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

    Research areas

  • Structure-based drug discovery, Fragment-based drug discovery, Protein structure, Protein-ligand interactions, STRUCTURE-BASED DESIGN, X-RAY-STRUCTURE, CRYSTAL-STRUCTURE, ESTROGEN-RECEPTOR, LIGAND-BINDING, BETA(2)-ADRENERGIC RECEPTOR, THERAPEUTIC TARGETS, NICOTINIC RECEPTORS, MOLECULAR-DYNAMICS, COUPLED RECEPTOR

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