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Acc Chem Res. 2002 Nov;35(11):961-71.

Inhibitors of de novo nucleotide biosynthesis as drugs.

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School of Molecular and Microbial Biosciences, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, 2006, Australia.


Potent inhibitors of enzymes catalyzing reactions in the de novo pathways for biosynthesis of purine and pyrimidine nucleotides are synthetic or natural-product analogues of pathway intermediates or, more recently, inhibitors rationally designed from a knowledge of the catalytic mechanism. Such inhibitors may be effective drugs against cancer, inflammatory disorders, or various infections. For human cancer, the purine pathway may be a better target for inhibition than the pyrimidine pathway, where toxic side effects are more apparent. Drugs such as methotrexate and 6-mercaptopurine have multiple sites of action, making it difficult to quantitatively predict their effects upon cells. Rational design of inhibitors based upon the X-ray structure of the target enzyme has the prospect of yielding drugs with only one site of action in human cells. Such a drug is VX-497, a potent inhibitor of the purine enzyme, IMP dehydrogenase.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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