Author(s): Tsomaia N
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Abstract Rapid advancements in genomics have brought a better understanding of molecular mechanisms for various pathologies and identified a number of highly attractive target classes. Some of these targets include intracellular protein-protein interactions (PPIs), which control many essential biological pathways. Their surfaces are part of a diverse and unexplored biological space, where traditional small molecule scaffolds are not always successful. While large biologics can effectively modulate PPIs in the extracellular region, their limitation in crossing the cellular membrane leaves intracellular protein targets outside of their reach. There is a growing need in the pharmaceutical field to push the boundaries of traditional drug design and discover innovative molecules that are able to modulate key biological pathways by inhibiting intracellular PPIs. Peptides are one of the most promising classes of molecules that could deliver such therapeutics in the near future. In this review, we describe technological advancements and emerging chemical approaches for stabilizing active peptide conformations, including stapling, hydrogen bond surrogates, beta-hairpin mimetics, grafting on stable scaffolds, and macrocyclization. These design strategies carry the promise of opening the doors for peptide therapeutics to reach the currently "undruggable" space. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Eur J Med Chem
and referenced in Medicinal Chemistry