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Current Medicinal Chemistry


ISSN (Print): 0929-8673
ISSN (Online): 1875-533X

Methionine In and Out of Proteins: Targets for Drug Design

Author(s): Mark D. Vaughan, Peter B. Sampson and John F. Honek

Volume 9 , Issue 3 , 2002

Page: [385 - 409] Pages: 25

DOI: 10.2174/0929867023371102

Price: $65


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 ha s 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.

Keywords: Methionine, methionyl-tRNA synthetase enzymes, hydrophobic protein components, spectrophotometric assay, Homocysteine thiolactone, Glycinamide ribonucleotide formyltransferase, Matrix metalloprotease, Tetrahydrofolate, Low density lipoprotein

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