The Würzburg scientists now want to increase the stability of the inhibitors by replacing the peptides with peptide-like substances. This may also be possible to produce inhibitors that have a novel mechanism of action. To develop targeted inhibitors for individual cysteine proteases, the researchers are trying to exploit the small differences in the surface structure (so-called substrate binding pockets) of the various proteases.
The substances that the scientists develop in their experiments can be tested immediately on the isolated proteases. This makes an immediate analysis of structure-activity relationships possible. In addition, experiments are planned on cell cultures (tests for cell toxicity) and on animals. The project is supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, the Fonds der Chemischen Industrie and the Bundesforschungsministerium.
Drugs that hinder protein-cleaving enzymes in their work have proven themselves many times in the past: 20 years ago they presented a new concept for the treatment of hypertension. In 1996, they brought a decisive breakthrough in the treatment of AIDS. displaypte