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J Med Chem. 2016 Mar 10;59(5):1655-70. doi: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.5b00997. Epub 2015 Oct 21.

Computational Tools To Model Halogen Bonds in Medicinal Chemistry.

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Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Colorado State University , Fort Collins, Colorado 80523-1870, United States.


The use of halogens in therapeutics dates back to the earliest days of medicine when seaweed was used as a source of iodine to treat goiters. The incorporation of halogens to improve the potency of drugs is now fairly standard in medicinal chemistry. In the past decade, halogens have been recognized as direct participants in defining the affinity of inhibitors through a noncovalent interaction called the halogen bond or X-bond. Incorporating X-bonding into structure-based drug design requires computational models for the anisotropic distribution of charge and the nonspherical shape of halogens, which lead to their highly directional geometries and stabilizing energies. We review here current successes and challenges in developing computational methods to introduce X-bonding into lead compound discovery and optimization during drug development. This fast-growing field will push further development of more accurate and efficient computational tools to accelerate the exploitation of halogens in medicinal chemistry.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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