Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2005 Mar;26(3):138-45.

Interfacial inhibition of macromolecular interactions: nature's paradigm for drug discovery.

Author information

Laboratory of Molecular Pharmacology, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892-4255, USA.


One of nature's strategies for interfering with molecular interactions is to trap macromolecules in transition states with their partners in dead-end complexes that are unable to complete their biological function. This type of inhibition, which we refer to as "interfacial inhibition", is illustrated by two natural inhibitors, brefeldin A (BFA) and camptothecin (CPT), whose modes of action have been elucidated fully in structural studies. Interfacial inhibition occurs at the protein-protein interface in the case of BFA and at the protein-DNA interface in the case of CPT. In both systems, the drugs take advantage of transient structural and energetic conditions created by the macromolecular complex, which give rise to "hot-spots" for drug binding. In addition to these examples, several natural compounds such as forskolin, tubulin inhibitors and immunophilins target protein interfaces. We propose that interfacial inhibition is a paradigm for the discovery of drugs that interfere with macromolecular complexes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center