Protein–protein interactions involving disordered partners have unique features and represent prominent targets in drug discovery processes. Intrinsically Disordered Proteins (IDPs) are involved in cellular regulation, signaling and control: they bind to multiple partners and these high-specificity/low-affinity interactions play crucial roles in many human diseases. Disordered regions, terminal tails and flexible linkers are particularly abundant in DNA-binding proteins and play crucial roles in the affinity and specificity of DNA recognizing processes. Protein complexes involving IDPs are short-lived and typically involve short amino acid stretches bearing few “hot spots”, thus the identification of molecules able to modulate them can produce important lead compounds: in this scenario
peptides and/or peptidomimetics, deriving from structure-based, combinatorial or protein dissection approaches, can play a key role as hit compounds. Here, we propose a panoramic review of the structural features of IDPs and how they regulate molecular recognition mechanisms focusing attention on recently reported drug-design strategies in the field of IDPs.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited