Researchers have come up with a chemical technique based on macromolecular mimicry.
An interdepartmental research team led by Professor V Haridas of the Department of Chemistry at IIT Delhi has designed and demonstrated a new strategy for developing potential drug molecules for the treatment of various diseases.
Professor Haridas has collaborated with Professor Guruprasad Medigeshi, a virologist from the Institute of Translational Health Sciences and Technology (THSTI), and Professor Biswajit Kundur, a biochemist at the Kusuma School of Biological Sciences, IIT Delhi.
Drugs are mostly organic molecules that interact with molecules present in the human body. The molecules in the body are large in size and are usually called macromolecules. These molecules are either proteins or nucleic acids.
Nowadays, the discovery of logical medicine with the help of computer is used to find the target molecule of a specific protein. Still, it takes a lot of time.
Researchers have come up with a chemical technique based on macromolecular mimicry. Molecules are shaped like objects. Designing and synthesizing molecules of different sizes is an art in itself. Mimicking (copying) the macromolecular interface by small molecules of unique size is a method adopted by the research group.
Researchers have used tools in biochemistry and biophysics to design molecules that target the protein interface. They have developed a universally facilitated scaffold method for the design of different types of inhibitors. The universal scaffold can be converted to specific inhibitors for a given protein-protein interaction (PPI), which makes the drug design procedure relatively simple.
“We have used this technique to design drug molecules that could be effective in treating Japanese encephalitis virus (JV), the leading cause of viral encephalitis in Southeast Asian countries, and protein-borne diseases such as Alzheimer’s and other related diseases.” We have also patented the JV inhibitor drug molecule, ”said Professor Haridas, Department of Chemistry, IIT Delhi.
The researchers believe that the new drug designing technique they have demonstrated could also be used to treat retroviral infections.