Structure-based drug design is an organized, multidisciplinary endeavor undertaken by scientists from many different scientific fields. The success of structurebased drug design was only made possible by advances in structure biology that provides the three-dimensional structure of the drug design target with which small molecular chemical ligands interact. Visualization of the conformation and interactions of a small molecule ligand bound to the protein target in the co-crystal structure of the protein ligand complex enables the design of new chemical compounds with improved binding affinity and specificity. With the advances in molecular biology, lab automation, and computational science, genomic data have now become available for the human genome, as well as various other organisms. The pharmaceutical industry is currently putting forth tremendous effort in the area of functional genomics and structural genomics in attempts to decipher functions and structures of protein encoded by genes, with the ultimate goal of identifying novel targets for drug discovery and development. This chapter discusses the significant impact made by recombinant DNA technology and protein engineering on structural biology and, more specifically, on structure-based drug design.
Keywords: hcmv proteases, recombinant dna technology, protease, human cytomegalovirus proteases, serine proteases, peptidomimetics, non-peptidic inhibitors
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