The Growing Role of Electron Microscopy in Anti-parasitic Drug Discovery

Author(s): R.M. Johnson, S. Rawson, M.J. McPhillie, C.W.G. Fishwick, S.P. Muench*.

Journal Name: Current Medicinal Chemistry

Volume 25 , Issue 39 , 2018

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Abstract:

Background: Parasite diseases are a huge burden on human health causing significant morbidity and mortality. However, parasite structure based drug discovery programmes have been hindered by a lack of high resolution structural information from parasite derived proteins and have often relied upon homology models from mammalian systems. The recent renaissance in electron microscopy (EM) has caused a dramatic rise in the number of structures being determined at high resolution and subsequently enabled it to be thought of as a tool in drug discovery.

Results: In this review, we discuss the challenges associated with the structural determination of parasite proteins including the difficulties in obtaining sufficient quantities of protein. We then discuss the reasons behind the resurgence in EM, how it may overcome some of these challenges and provide examples of EM derived parasite protein structures. Finally, we discuss the challenges which EM needs to overcome before it is used as a mainstream technique in anti-parasite drug discovery.

Conclusions: This review reports the progress that has been made in obtaining sufficient quantities of proteins for structural studies and the role EM may play in future structure based drug design programs. The outlook for future structure based drug design programs against some of the most devastating parasite diseases looks promising.

Keywords: Electron microscopy, structure based drug design, Plasmodium falciparum, parasitic disease.

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Article Details

VOLUME: 25
ISSUE: 39
Year: 2018
Page: [5279 - 5290]
Pages: 12
DOI: 10.2174/0929867324666171109120526
Price: $58

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