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Chem Biol. 1996 Dec;3(12):973-80.

Just add water! The effect of water on the specificity of protein-ligand binding sites and its potential application to drug design.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University College London, 91 Riding House Street, London W1P 8BT, UK.


Recent data have highlighted the enigmatic role that water plays in biomolecular complexes. Water at the interface of a complex can increase the promiscuity of an interaction, yet it can also provide increased specificity and affinity. The ability to engineer water-binding sites into the interface between a drug and its target might prove useful in drug design.

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