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J Biomol Screen. 2013 Aug;18(7):761-81. doi: 10.1177/1087057113482586. Epub 2013 Mar 27.

Discovering new medicines targeting helicases: challenges and recent progress.

Author information

1
Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI 53211, USA.

Abstract

Helicases are ubiquitous motor proteins that separate and/or rearrange nucleic acid duplexes in reactions fueled by adenosine triphosphate (ATP) hydrolysis. Helicases encoded by bacteria, viruses, and human cells are widely studied targets for new antiviral, antibiotic, and anticancer drugs. This review summarizes the biochemistry of frequently targeted helicases. These proteins include viral enzymes from herpes simplex virus, papillomaviruses, polyomaviruses, coronaviruses, the hepatitis C virus, and various flaviviruses. Bacterial targets examined include DnaB-like and RecBCD-like helicases. The human DEAD-box protein DDX3 is the cellular antiviral target discussed, and cellular anticancer drug targets discussed are the human RecQ-like helicases and eIF4A. We also review assays used for helicase inhibitor discovery and the most promising and common helicase inhibitor chemotypes, such as nucleotide analogues, polyphenyls, metal ion chelators, flavones, polycyclic aromatic polymers, coumarins, and various DNA binding pharmacophores. Also discussed are common complications encountered while searching for potent helicase inhibitors and possible solutions for these problems.

KEYWORDS:

ATPase; RNA binding proteins; antibiotic; anticancer; antivirals; molecular probes; motor protein

PMID:
23536547
PMCID:
PMC4427233
DOI:
10.1177/1087057113482586
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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