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Inhibitors of DNA Methyltransferases: Insights from Computational Studies

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DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) are a family of epigenetic enzymes for which inhibition is an attractive strategy for the treatment of cancer and other diseases. In synergy with experimental approaches, computational methods are increasingly being used to identify and optimize the activity of inhibitors of DNMTs as well as to rationalize at the molecular level of the mechanism of established inhibitors. Recently, a crystallographic structure of the methyltransferase domain of human DNMT1 bound to unmethylated DNA was published encouraging the application of structure-based approaches to design and optimize the activity of currently known inhibitors. Herein, we review the progress in the discovery and optimization of inhibitors of DNMTs using computational approaches including homology modeling, docking, pharmacophore modeling, molecular dynamics, and virtual screening.
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Keywords: Cancer; docking; drug discovery; enzyme inhibitor; epigenetics; homology modeling; molecular dynamics; natural products; structure-activity relationships; virtual screening

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2012

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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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