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Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2011 Oct;14(5):480-8. doi: 10.1016/j.pbi.2011.06.003. Epub 2011 Jul 29.

A structural biology perspective on bioactive small molecules and their plant targets.

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Plant Chemetics Lab, Chemical Genomics Centre of the Max Planck Society, Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research, 50829 Cologne, Germany.


Structural biology efforts in recent years have generated numerous co-crystal structures of bioactive small molecules interacting with their plant targets. These studies include the targets of various phytohormones, pathogen-derived effectors, herbicides and other bioactive compounds. Here we discuss that this collection of structures contains excellent examples of nine collective observations: molecular glues, allostery, inhibitors, molecular mimicry, promiscuous binding sites, unexpected electron densities, natural selection at atomic resolution, and applications in structure-guided mutagenesis and small molecule design.

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