Author(s): Meggers E
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Abstract Altering biological processes with small synthetic molecules is a general approach for the design of drugs and molecular probes. Medicinal chemistry and chemical biology are focused predominately on the design of organic molecules, whereas inorganic compounds find applications mainly for their reactivity (e.g. cisplatin as a DNA-reactive therapeutic) or imaging properties (e.g. gadolinium complexes as MRI diagnostics). In such inorganic pharmaceuticals or probes, coordination chemistry in the biological environment or at the target site lies at the heart of their modes of action. However, past and very recent results suggest that it is also worth exploring a different aspect of metal complexes: their ability to form structures with unique and defined shapes for the design of 'organic-like' small-molecule probes and drugs. In such metal-organic compounds, the metal has the main purpose to organize the organic ligands in three-dimensional space. It is likely that such an approach will complement the molecular diversity of organic chemistry in the quest for the discovery of compounds with superior biological activities.
This article was published in Curr Opin Chem Biol
and referenced in Medicinal Chemistry