Elements and modulation of functional dynamics

J Med Chem. 2014 Oct 9;57(19):7819-37. doi: 10.1021/jm500325k. Epub 2014 Jun 10.


The existing structure-function paradigm of drug discovery has been evolving toward the essential incorporation of dynamics data. This new functional dynamics paradigm emphasizes conformational entropy as a driving force of protein function and intermolecular recognition. Conformational dynamics (a proxy of conformational entropy) impacts the degree of protein (dis)order and the constitution of the conformational ensemble, the mechanisms of allostery and drug resistance, and the free energy of ligand binding. Specific protein and ligand conformations facilitate favorable, reciprocal interactions. The number of protein and ligand conformers that exhibit favorable binding interactions will vary from system to system. All binding scenarios can modulate protein dynamics by various levels of enthalpic and entropic contribution, with significant influence on the functional dynamics of the system. Analysis and consideration of resulting changes of activity, signaling, catalysis, and subsequent phenotypic outcome are powerful motivations in the drug design process.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Drug Design*
  • Drug Resistance
  • Entropy
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Molecular Dynamics Simulation*
  • Mutation
  • Protein Conformation
  • Proteins / chemistry*
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Thermodynamics


  • Proteins