Small Molecule Catalysts with Therapeutic Potential
AbstractCatalysts are employed in many areas of research and development where they combine high efficiency with often astonishing selectivity for their respective substrates. In biology, biocatalysts are omnipresent. Enzymes facilitate highly controlled, sophisticated cellular processes, such as metabolic conversions, sensing and signalling, and are prominent targets in drug development. In contrast, the therapeutic use of catalysts per se is still rather limited. Recent research has shown that small molecule catalytic agents able to modulate the redox state of the target cell bear considerable promise, particularly in the context of inflammatory and infectious diseases, stroke, ageing and even cancer. Rather than being “active” on their own in a more traditional sense, such agents develop their activity by initiating, promoting, enhancing or redirecting reactions between biomolecules already present in the cell, and their activity therefore depends critically on the predisposition of the target cell itself. Redox catalysts, for instance, preferably target cells with a distinct sensitivity towards changes in an already disturbed redox balance and/or increased levels of reactive oxygen species. Indeed, certain transition metal, chalcogen and quinone agents may activate an antioxidant response in normal cells whilst at the same time triggering apoptosis in cancer cells with a different pre-existing “biochemical redox signature” and closer to the internal redox threshold. In pharmacy, catalysts therefore stand out as promising lead structures, as sensor/effector agents which are highly effective, fairly selective, active in catalytic, i.e., often nanomolar concentrations and also very flexible in their structural design. View Full-Text
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Ney, Y.; Jawad Nasim, M.; Kharma, A.; Youssef, L.A.; Jacob, C. Small Molecule Catalysts with Therapeutic Potential. Molecules 2018, 23, 765.
Ney Y, Jawad Nasim M, Kharma A, Youssef LA, Jacob C. Small Molecule Catalysts with Therapeutic Potential. Molecules. 2018; 23(4):765.Chicago/Turabian Style
Ney, Yannick; Jawad Nasim, Muhammad; Kharma, Ammar; Youssef, Lama A.; Jacob, Claus. 2018. "Small Molecule Catalysts with Therapeutic Potential." Molecules 23, no. 4: 765.
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