Author(s): Zheng F, Zhan CG
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Abstract Cocaine is highly addictive and no anti-cocaine medication is currently available. Accelerating cocaine metabolism, producing biologically inactive metabolites, is recognized as an ideal anti-cocaine medication strategy, especially for the treatment of acute cocaine toxicity. However, currently known wild-type enzymes have either too low a catalytic efficiency against the abused cocaine, in other words (-)-cocaine, or the in vivo half-life is too short. Novel computational strategies and design approaches have been developed recently to design and discover thermostable or high-activity mutants of enzymes based on detailed structures and catalytic/inactivation mechanisms. The structure- and mechanism-based computational design efforts have led to the discovery of high-activity mutants of butyrylcholinesterase and thermostable mutants of cocaine esterase as promising anti-cocaine therapeutics. The structure- and mechanism-based computational strategies and design approaches may be used to design high-activity and/or thermostable mutants of many other proteins that have clear therapeutic potentials and to design completely new therapeutic enzymes.
This article was published in Future Med Chem
and referenced in Journal of Bioequivalence & Bioavailability