Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 25748546
Prog. Biophys. Mol. Biol. 2015 Oct;119(1):20-32
Protein-protein interactions (PPIs) are carrying out diverse functions in living systems and are playing a major role in the health and disease states. Low molecular weight (LMW) “drug-like” inhibitors of PPIs would be very valuable not only to enhance our understanding over physiological processes but also for drug discovery endeavors. However, PPIs were deemed intractable by LMW chemicals during many years. But today, with the new experimental and in silico technologies that have been developed, about 50 PPIs have already been inhibited by LMW molecules. Here, we first focus on general concepts about protein-protein interactions, present a consensual view about ligandable pockets at the protein interfaces and the possibilities of using fast and cost effective structure-based virtual screening methods to identify PPI hits. We then discuss the design of compound collections dedicated to PPIs. Recent financial analyses of the field suggest that LMW PPI modulators could be gaining momentum over biologics in the coming years supporting further research in this area.