Researchers from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi have designed and demonstrated a new strategy for developing potential drug molecules for treating various diseases.
According to the research team, they utilised tools of Organic Chemistry and Biophysics to design molecules that target protein interface.
"Drugs are mostly organic molecules that interact with molecules present in the human body. The molecules in the body are bigger in size and are typically called macromolecules. These molecules are either proteins or nucleic acids. Presently, computer-aided rational drug discovery is utilised to find target molecules for a particular protein target. Still, this takes a considerable amount of time," said V Haridas, a professor at IIT Delhi's Chemistry Department.
"The researchers have come up with a chemical strategy based on the macromolecular mimicry. Molecules have shapes just like objects. Designing and synthesising molecules with diverse shapes is an art in itself. Mimicking the macromolecular interface by uniquely shaped small molecules is an approach adopted by the research group," he added.
The research group developed a universal privileged scaffold approach for the design of a variety of inhibitors. The universal scaffold could be converted to a specific inhibitor for a given Protein-Protein Interaction (PPI), which makes the drug design approach relatively easier.
"We used this strategy to design drug molecules, which could be useful for treatment of Japanese Encephalitis Virus (JEV), the main cause for viral encephalitis in Southeast Asian countries, and protein aggregation diseases such as Alzheimer's. We have also patented the JEV inhibitor drug molecule," said Haridas.