Special Issue "Design and Synthesis of Protease Inhibitors"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 December 2019).
Interests: medicinal chemistry; organic synthesis; drug discovery; chemical probes; protease inhibitors
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Proteases are enzyme-hydrolyzing peptide bonds of proteins and peptides. They are ubiquitious in nature and are associated with vital biological pathways. Hence, the inhibition of proteases has become a valuable strategy for the search for new drugs against a number of diverse diseases. For example, some aspartyl protease inhibitors are drugs used to control the HIV virus and treat AIDS, serine protease inhibitors are used for the treatment of hepatitis C and some proteasome inhibitors are commercial drugs used to treat multiple myeloma. Some inhibitors of cysteine proteases belonging to the papain superfamily are promising drugs against tropical infectious diseases as Chagas disease, sleeping sickness, Leishmaniasis, malaria and amebiasis. The inhibition of human cathepsins is also a strategy for new therapies against Alzheimer’s disease, cancer (cathepsin B) and osteoporosis (cathepsin K).
Although some proteases were recognized as targets a few decades ago, a vast number of inhibitors have been reported. Many of the reported protease inhibitors are synthetic compounds that have been designed from the crystallographic structure of the protease, but some of them are natural products. A search for the key terms “protease” and “inhibitor” in the ISI-Web of Knowledge database in October, 2018, produced 126,198 hits in ten areas (biochemistry and molecular biology, pharmacology pharmacy, immunology, genetics heredity, cell biology, infectious diseases, chemistry, microbiology, hematology and cardiovascular system cardiology) indicating the importance of protease inhibitors.
Reported proteases inhibitors can be classified into a few types according to their inhibition kinetics. Some inhibitors display a reactive moiety in their chemical structure acting as an electrophilic trap to react covalently with corresponding nucleophilic residue in the active center, mostly acting as irreversible inhibitors, but some of them act as reversible inhibitors (covalent reversible inhibitors). Interestingly, irreversible protease inhibitors have found interesting applications in the search of new targets and visualization in cell studies by their derivatization into chemical probes. Conversely, non-covalent reversible inhibitors do not form any covalent bond with the target, displaying key moieties in the chemical structure to furnish high binding affinity for the target.
Computational studies such as docking or especially QM/MM calculations represent very important tools for the design of new inhibitors and for rationalizing the mode-of-action of inhibitors against the targets.
This forthcoming Special Issue of Molecules entitled “Design and Synthesis of Proteases Inhibitors“ will focus on recent advances in protease inhibitors, covering the synthesis of protease inhibitors, the design of new chemical entities acting as inhibitors of proteases, and the new applications to which these interesting compounds are contributing.
Prof. Florenci V. González
Manuscript Submission Information
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- Protease inhibitor
- Organic synthesis
- Medicinal chemistry
- Computational studies (docking, QM/MM)
- Chemical probes