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, 58 (19), 7611-33

Strategies for the Discovery of Target-Specific or Isoform-Selective Modulators


Strategies for the Discovery of Target-Specific or Isoform-Selective Modulators

Peng Zhan et al. J Med Chem.


Currently, the creation of class- and isoform-selective modulators of biologically important targets is a particularly challenging problem because different isoforms within a protein family often show striking similarity in spatial quaternary structure, especially at the catalytic sites or binding pockets. Therefore, an understanding of both the precise three-dimensional structure of the target protein and the mechanisms of action of modulators is important for developing more effective and selective agents. In this Perspective, we discuss currently available rational design strategies for obtaining class- and isoform-selective inhibitors and we illustrate these strategies with the aid of specific examples from the recent literature. The strategies covered include: (1) target-derived (-dependent) de novo drug discovery methodologies, and (2) follow-on derivatization approaches from initially identified active molecules (hit-to-lead and lead-to-candidate efforts). We also comment on prospects for further development and integration of strategies to achieve target-specific or isoform-selective inhibition.

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