Comparative biochemistry and drug design for infectious disease

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  07 Sep 1979:
Vol. 205, Issue 4410, pp. 964-971
DOI: 10.1126/science.382357


In the past two decades, biochemistry and molecular biology have demonstrated the existence of potentially exploitable biochemical differences between etiologic agents of disease and their hosts. Known differences between organism and host with respect to metabolism and polymer structure point to the detailed characterization of key proteins as the focus for the development of potential inhibitors. In the last decade, the methodology of the isolation, characterization, and inactivation of proteins and enzymes has been advanced. The present scientific and technological base suggests that new efforts toward the development of selective chemotherapeutic agents for infections caused by bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and higher eukaryotes should exploit the known differences in proteins or other specific biopolymers serving crucial structural or metabolic roles in the economy of the parasite.