5 Ways Protein Modulation Can Help With Drug Design

Image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay.

The first thing you should know before we get into how protein modulation can help with drug design is its. Essentially, without getting into the complexities of organic chemistry, it’s the sequence of amino acids that makes up a protein change.

Changing a protein’s structure tends to alter its activity level, which may cause it to interact with other proteins differently. This has promising implications for designing and developing new and more effective drugs to treat various health conditions.

Tailor-Made Molecules

Peptide synthesis is the technical term used to make peptides, which are a group of interconnected amino acids. Collections of peptides form proteins.

All of this matters because it means scientists can theoretically design the exact molecule they need to treat a disease without unintended adverse side effects. In short, protein modulation may lead to highly specific drugs with low toxicity.

A New Class of Therapies

Right now, proteins aren’t the usual target for drug therapies. Many of today’s drugs target ion channels, enzymes and receptors.

While effective in many instances, there are still health conditions where the only option is to treat the patient is experiencing. At best, medical personnel can slow diseases like AIDs and Alzheimer’s. They can’t be stopped or reversed.

Because protein modulation opens new doors for using proteins as the target for new drugs, there’s hope that today’s incurable conditions may not stay that way.

Better Blocking

Protein modulation allows scientists to create more effective antagonists for specific proteins. Typically, this is done by bonding a protein fragment to the protein itself.

This should allow for the creation of drugs that will prevent a particular receptor from activating. Beta blockers are one of the best-known classes of drugs that operate like this. Many people use them to treat high blood pressure.

Targeted Cell Death

Image by MasterTux from Pixabay.

Most of us enjoy the fact that our cells are alive and well, but can you think of a reason to target and eliminate certain cells? If cancer treatment is the first thing that sprang to mind, you would be right.

Researchers are currently trying to discover how the interactions between proteins influence why specific cells are allowed to live while others die. If they could replicate this effect and target cancerous cells, the results could be life-changing for millions of people.

Reduce Oxidative Stress-Induced Conditions

Image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay.

We put our bodies through a lot. Sometimes, this leads to oxidative stress. Cancer, arthritis, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease may all become more likely when oxidative stress occurs.

As it stands now, the build-up of the protein likely responsible for activating antioxidant proteins may cause long-term problems such as cancer. Protein modulation may allow scientists to discover an alternative.

Protein modulation promises exciting things for the future of drug design, and we can’t wait to see where the research goes.

Links:
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18726565/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4886928/
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41392-020-00315-3

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