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Drug Discov Today. 2006 Jul;11(13-14):601-6.

Designing better drugs: predicting cytochrome P450 metabolism.

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Sandwich Chemistry, Pfizer Global Research & Development, Sandwich Laboratories, Kent CT13 9NJ, UK.


Many 3D ligand-based and structure-based computational approaches have been used to predict, and thus help explain, the metabolism catalyzed by the enzymes of the cytochrome P450 superfamily (P450s). P450s are responsible for >90% of the metabolism of all drugs, so the computational prediction of metabolism can help to design out drug-drug interactions in the early phases of the drug discovery process. Computational methodologies have focused on a few P450s that are directly involved in drug metabolism. The recently derived crystal structures for human P450s enable better 3D modelling of these important metabolizing enzymes. Models derived for P450s have evolved from simple comparisons of known substrates to more-elaborate experiments that require considerable computer power involving 3D overlaps and docking experiments. These models help to explain and, more importantly, predict the involvement of P450s in the metabolism of specific compounds and guide the drug-design process.

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