Macrocyclic peptides are an emerging class of bioactive compounds for therapeutic use. In part, this is because they are capable of high potency and excellent target affinity and selectivity. Over the last decade, several biochemical techniques have been developed for the identification of bioactive macrocyclic peptides, allowing for the rapid isolation of high affinity ligands to a target of interest. A common feature of these techniques is a general reliance on thioether formation to effect macrocyclization. Increasingly, the compounds identified using these approaches have been subjected to x-ray crystallographic analysis bound to their respective targets, providing detailed structural information about their conformation and mechanism of target binding. The present review provides an overview of the target bound thioether-closed macrocyclic peptide structures that have been obtained to date.
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