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Special Issue "Structure and Function of Metalloenzymes"

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section "Chemical Biology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2019

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Sérgio F. Sousa

UCIBIO/REQUIMTE, BioSIM - Departamento de BioMedicina,Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade do Porto, Porto, Portugal
Website | E-Mail
Interests: the catalytic power of enzymes; computer-aided drug design; biofilm inhibition; biodesulfurization; computational methods in chemistry and biochemistry; metalloenzymes; biological membranes; docking and virtual screening; computational enzymatic catalysis

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Metal ion cofactors play a fundamental role in many biologically enzymes contributing to the diversification of their associated chemistry, the strengthening of their catalytic role, and the modulation of their activity. In fact, metalloenzymes are very often among the most proficient catalysts in nature. For many of these systems, the presence of the metal atoms is directly involved in the catalytic activity displayed, while in others, the metal plays a structural role. Features like the identity of the metal atom and its oxidation and spin state often have a dramatic impact on the structure and activity of many metalloenzymes. However, some enzymes can accommodate without penalty different metal atoms.

The sheer impact that one single atom—metal—can have on the structure and activity of a biomolecule composed of several thousand non-metal atoms continues to impress scientists to this day, particularly as researchers worldwide continue to clarify, to the atomic level, the catalytic mechanisms of many metalloenzymes, using a variety of experimental and computational methodologies.

This Special Issue aims to gather original research papers, reviews, and communications focusing on the relation between metals, enzymes, and their structure and activity.

Dr. Sergio F. Sousa
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Molecules is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • biocatalysts
  • metals
  • coordination-sphere
  • active-site
  • transition state
  • metal stabilization
  • metal role

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission, see below for planned papers.

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Molecular Imaging Probes based on Matrix Metalloproteinase Inhibitors
Authors: Loganathan Rangasamy, Irene Ortín, Claire Coderch, Bruno Di Geronimo, Ana Ramos and Beatriz de Pascual-Teresa
Affiliation: Departamento de Química y Bioquímica, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad San Pablo-CEU, CEU Universities, Urbanización Montepríncipe, 28925, Alcorcón, Madrid, Spain
Email: [email protected]
Abstract: Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a family of zinc- and calcium-dependent endopeptidases which are secreted or anchored in the cell membrane and are capable of degrading the multiple components of the extracellular matrix (ECM). MMPs are frequently overexpressed or highly activated in numerous human diseases, including cancer, atherosclerosis, stroke, arthritis, cardiovascular diseases, periodontal disease, respiratory tract disorders, glomerulonephritis, abdominal aortic aneurysm expansion, inflammatory bowel disease, neurodegeneration, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, multiple sclerosis and liver fibrosis. Owing to the important role of MMPs in human diseases, many MMP inhibitors (MMPis) have been developed as novel therapeutics and some of them have entered clinical trials. However, none of them have successfully entered the market so far. The lack of selectivity toward specific MMP subtypes has been considered as the main factor responsible for this failure. Targeting of specific MMPs remains a challenge since most MMP subtypes share similar structure and function. Therefore, it is anticipated that the development of highly selective inhibitors for specific MMPs could solve the problem. On the other hand, evaluation of the activity of a specific subset of MMPs in human diseases using clinically relevant imaging techniques would be a powerful tool for the early diagnosis and assessment of the efficacy of therapy. In recent years, numerous MMPis labeled imaging agents have emerged. In this article, we begin providing an overview of the MMP subfamily and its structure and function. We then summarize the latest advances in the design of subtype selective MMP inhibitors and their biological evaluation. Subsequently, we discuss the potential use of MMPi-labeled diagnostic agents in clinical imaging techniques, including positron emission tomography (PET), single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and optical imaging (OI). Finally, we conclude with future perspectives and clinical utility.
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