Circular dichroism in drug discovery and development: an abridged review

Bertucci, Carlo; Pistolozzi, Marco; De Simone, Angela
September 2010
Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry;Sep2010, Vol. 398 Issue 1, p155
Academic Journal
Chirality plays a fundamental role in determining the pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic properties of drugs, and contributes significantly to our understanding of the mechanisms that lie behind biorecognition phenomena. Circular dichroism spectroscopy is the technique of choice for determining the stereochemistry of chiral drugs and proteins, and for monitoring and characterizing molecular recognition phenomena in solution. The role of chirality in our understanding of recognition phenomena at the molecular level is discussed here via several selected systems of interest in the drug discovery and development area. The examples were selected in order to underline the utility of circular dichroism in emerging studies of protein–protein interactions in biological context. In particular, the following aspects are discussed here: the relationship between stereochemistry and pharmacological activity—stereochemical characterization of new leads and drugs; stereoselective binding of leads and drugs to target proteins—the binding of drugs to serum albumins; conformational transitions of peptides and proteins of physiological relevance, and the stereochemical characterization of therapeutic peptides.


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