In the post-genome era, pathologies become associated with specific gene expression profiles and defined molecular lesions can be identified. The traditional therapeutic strategy is to block the identified aberrant biochemical activity. However, an attractive alternative could aim at antagonizing key transcriptional events underlying the pathogenesis, thereby blocking the consequences of a disorder, irrespective of the original biochemical nature. This approach, called transcription therapy, is now rendered possible by major advances in biophysical technologies. In the last two decades, techniques have evolved to become key components of drug discovery platforms, within pharmaceutical companies as well as academic laboratories. This review outlines the current biophysical strategies for transcription manipulation and provides examples of successful applications. It also provides insights into the future development of biophysical methods in drug discovery and personalized medicine.
Keywords: biophysical techniques; drug discovery; therapy; transcription factors.