, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 109-130
Date: 19 Apr 2006

Development of small molecules designed to modulate protein–protein interactions

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Protein–protein interactions are ubiquitous, essential to almost all known biological processes, and offer attractive opportunities for therapeutic intervention. Developing small molecules that modulate protein–protein interactions is challenging, owing to the large size of protein-complex interface, the lack of well-defined binding pockets, etc. We describe a general approach based on the “privileged-structure hypothesis” [Che, Ph.D. Thesis, Washington University, 2003] – that any organic templates capable of mimicking surfaces of protein-recognition motifs are potential privileged scaffolds as protein-complex antagonists – to address the challenges inherent in the discovery of small-molecule inhibitors of protein–protein interactions.