Interactions with aromatic rings in chemical and biological recognition

Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2003 Mar 17;42(11):1210-50. doi: 10.1002/anie.200390319.


Intermolecular interactions involving aromatic rings are key processes in both chemical and biological recognition. Their understanding is essential for rational drug design and lead optimization in medicinal chemistry. Different approaches-biological studies, molecular recognition studies with artificial receptors, crystallographic database mining, gas-phase studies, and theoretical calculations-are pursued to generate a profound understanding of the structural and energetic parameters of individual recognition modes involving aromatic rings. This review attempts to combine and summarize the knowledge gained from these investigations. The review focuses mainly on examples with biological relevance since one of its aims it to enhance the knowledge of molecular recognition forces that is essential for drug development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cations / chemistry
  • Cations / metabolism
  • Hydrocarbons, Aromatic / chemistry*
  • Hydrocarbons, Aromatic / metabolism*
  • Hydrogen Bonding
  • Proteins / chemistry
  • Proteins / metabolism
  • Sulfur / chemistry
  • Sulfur / metabolism
  • Thermodynamics


  • Cations
  • Hydrocarbons, Aromatic
  • Proteins
  • Sulfur