Structure-Based Strategies for Drug Design and Discovery

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Science  21 Aug 1992:
Vol. 257, Issue 5073, pp. 1078-1082
DOI: 10.1126/science.257.5073.1078


Most drugs have been discovered in random screens or by exploiting information about macromolecular receptors. One source of this information is in the structures of critical proteins and nucleic acids. The structure-based approach to design couples this information with specialized computer programs to propose novel enzyme inhibitors and other therapeutic agents. Iterated design cycles have produced compounds now in clinical trials. The combination of molecular structure determination and computation is emerging as an important tool for drug development. These ideas will be applied to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and bacterial drug resistance.