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Methionine In and Out of Proteins: Targets for Drug Design

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The increasing need for new antibiotics to overcome rapidly developing resistance mechanisms observed in clinical isolates of Gram-positive and Gram-negative eubacteria has placed critical emphasis on the search for new antibacterial enzyme targets and the structural and mechanistic investigation of such targets. Among these potential targets, the enzymes responsible for integrating the amino acid methionine into proteins, along with its subsequent post-translational modification and repair, have emerged as promising candidates for the development of novel antibiotics. As well, there is increasing evidence for the importance of several of these enzymes in the development of anti-cancer, anti-parasitic, and anti-atherosclerotic drugs. Within the last three years, the crystal structures of all of these enzymes have been determined, which offers an unprecedented source of structural information for inhibitor design. The development of combinatorial chemistry and high throughput screening procedures has quickly provided several potent, specific inhibitors for a number of these enzymes, particularly the peptide deformylase, methionine aminopeptidase, and methionyl-tRNA synthetase enzymes. This review critically analyzes the future potential for inhibition of enzymes in this pathway, allowing for a pragmatic view of the success of inhibitor developments and highlighting areas in which further investigations are warranted.
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Keywords: Glycinamide ribonucleotide formyltransferase; Homocysteine thiolactone; Low density lipoprotein; Matrix metalloprotease; Methionine; Tetrahydrofolate; hydrophobic protein components; methionyl-tRNA synthetase enzymes; spectrophotometric assay

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: 2002-02-01

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
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