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Editorial [Hot Topic: Trends in Drug Discovery and Development (Guest Editor: Sanjay V. Malhotra)]

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Biochemical processes within a cell or an organism are usually instigated by molecular interaction and/or recognition events. Therefore, understanding the molecular biology and genetics of a disease is vital in designing the newer generation of molecularly targeted agents. Knowledge regarding the molecular basis of disease pathogenesis, genetic and epigenetic changes with disease progression, dysregulation of key cellular pathways for cell survival and proliferation, needs to be considered in the successful design and development of new agents for the treatment of the various stages of a disease, with the ultimate goal of cure. Manipulating living systems at the molecular level requires profound knowledge of the variability of small molecule effects that probe a particular cellular response. The successful discovery and design of molecular medicine is highly dependent upon the creative interplay of many scientific disciplines. Selection of articles in this issue provides a glimpse of the breadth and extent of fascinating research that is being conducted in the pursuit of developing effective medicines.

In their article Dr. S. Chandrasekaran and colleague review Sirtuin (Sir2) proteins, the key regulators of numerous cellular processes which have been implicated in diverse physiological processes ranging from aging to cancer to neurological dysfunctions. Authors give an account of the efforts in understanding biology of these targets and development of chemical modulators of Sir2. Dr. Rigano and team nicely describe the role of oxidative stress in Beta2-Glycoproteins and thereby potential effect on the phenotypic and functional role of innate immune cells. While, Dr. Ferlini et al. discuss the rationale for connecting expression of Class III β-tubulin (TUBB3) linked to drug resistance as a complex survival mechanism activated by micro-environmental conditions such as poor nutrient supply and hypoxia.

The Catechol-o-methyltranferase (COMT) is one of the major modulators of prefrontal dopamine function and has emerged as an important determinant of schizophrenia associated cognative dysfunction and response to antipsychotics. Diverse facets of COMT biology, its functional relevance as a predictive marker and a therapeutic target for schizophrenia have been the focus of article by Dr. Ritushree Kukreti.

The interest in G-quadruplexes, has grown rapidly. Dr. Shrikant Kukreti enumerates on their structural diversity and specific recognition rendering them as important drug target which can also act as gene regulatory elements.

Dr. Cimino and team outline the importance of hormetic properties of plant antioxidants which could be employed in health promoting dietary interventions for neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. Similarly, oxidative stress has been implicated in the pathogenesis of various diseases such as diabetes and coronary artery diseases its main modifiable risk factor is the abnormal level of lipids and/or lipoproteins in the blood. Dr. Pallottini et al. give an update on the antioxidants with ability to affect 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase in short or long term, and therefore, could potentially provide additional approach in the management of hypercholesterolemia.

It is my honor to serve as the guest editor of this special issue and I thank the Editor-in-Chief, Dr. David Li for inviting me, Dr. Luciano Saso for assisting in the process, and of course, the authors, for accepting my invitation to write and whose articles made this outstanding special issue possible.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-12-01

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  • Current Molecular Medicine is an interdisciplinary journal focused on providing the readership with current and comprehensive reviews on fundamental molecular mechanisms of disease pathogenesis, the development of molecular-diagnosis and/or novel approaches to rational treatment. The reviews should be of significant interest to basic researchers and clinical investigators in molecular medicine. Periodically the journal will invite guest editors to devote an issue on a basic research area that shows promise to advance our understanding of the molecular mechanism(s) of a disease or has potential for clinical applications.
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