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J Mol Graph. 1991 Mar;9(1):11-7, 34-5.

PC-based molecular modeling in the classroom: applications to medicinal chemistry and biochemistry.

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  • School of Pharmacy, University of Connecticut, Storrs 06269.


Among the most difficult aspects of medicinal chemistry and biochemistry for the student to master are the three-dimensional (3D) nature of drugs and bio-organic substances and the interaction of these substances with 3D targets. Compounding this problem is the fact that such relationships are very difficult to illustrate in a lecture or discussion format. While skeletal molecular models serve a useful role in the learning process, the techniques of PC-based desktop molecular visualization provide a more powerful and effective alternative to the lecture format. These techniques can be implemented on standard MS-DOS PC hardware using one of the commonly available data projection systems. The approach has found considerable use in several areas, including the generation of computer-based lecture aids, the illustration of the molecular shapes of drugs and biochemical structures, the superposition and comparison of drug substances with common pharmacophores, and the illustration of enzyme-substrate interactions. Another related technique, molecular animation, has proven to be quite successful at illustrating the essentials of enzyme mechanisms in the classroom. The "film clips" resulting from this technique may have use beyond the classroom, and further work in this area is underway.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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