Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 25254076
Mol Inform 2014 Jun;33(6-7):414-437
[Formula: see text] Fundamental processes in living cells are largely controlled by macromolecular interactions and among them, protein-protein interactions (PPIs) have a critical role while their dysregulations can contribute to the pathogenesis of numerous diseases. Although PPIs were considered as attractive pharmaceutical targets already some years ago, they have been thus far largely unexploited for therapeutic interventions with low molecular weight compounds. Several limiting factors, from technological hurdles to conceptual barriers, are known, which, taken together, explain why research in this area has been relatively slow. However, this last decade, the scientific community has challenged the dogma and became more enthusiastic about the modulation of PPIs with small drug-like molecules. In fact, several success stories were reported both, at the preclinical and clinical stages. In this review article, written for the 2014 International Summer School in Chemoinformatics (Strasbourg, France), we discuss in silico tools (essentially post 2012) and databases that can assist the design of low molecular weight PPI modulators (these tools can be found at www.vls3d.com). We first introduce the field of protein-protein interaction research, discuss key challenges and comment recently reported in silico packages, protocols and databases dedicated to PPIs. Then, we illustrate how in silico methods can be used and combined with experimental work to identify PPI modulators.