Medicinal chemistry

Medicinal chemistry deals with the design, optimization and development of chemical compounds for use as drugs. It is inherently a multidisciplinary topic — beginning with the synthesis of potential drugs followed by studies investigating their interactions with biological targets to understand the medicinal effects of the drug, its metabolism and side-effects.

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Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Autophagy is a ‘self-eating’ recycling process that maintains cellular homeostasis. Autogramins were identified as small-molecule autophagy inhibitors that target the cholesterol transport protein GRAMD1A, revealing a role for cholesterol in autophagosome biogenesis.

    • Leslie N. Aldrich
  • Research Highlights |

    Smith et al. report the design of ripretinib, an investigational tyrosine kinase inhibitor that forces the activation loop of KIT and PDGFRα into an inactive conformation and targets a broad spectrum of KIT and PDGFRα mutants in GIST.

    • M. Teresa Villanueva
  • News and Views |

    A synthetic DNA enzyme catalyses the formation of a native phosphodiester bond between two RNA fragments, but the molecular details of the mechanism remained elusive. Research using computational and biochemical approaches now suggests that the DNA enzyme recruits two magnesium ions to assist in the catalysis of RNA ligation.

    • Claudia Höbartner
    Nature Catalysis 2, 483-484
  • Comments and Opinion |

    The advent of ‘big data’ and modern analytics mandates a change of scale in every aspect of the biomedical enterprise. These forces are realigning academic medicine and traditional industrial partners, and also creating the context for an emerging new ecosystem for discovery, translation, care and implementation that promises to transform and integrate all these areas of endeavour.

    • Calum A. MacRae