Novel pharmacological approaches to the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
- E J Verspohl
- Pharmacological reviews
The central roles played by protein-tyrosine kinase (PTK)-dependent signal transduction in normal cellular regulation and homeostasis have made inappropriate or aberrant functions of certain of these pathways contributing factors to a variety of diseases, including several cancers. For this reason, development of PTK signaling inhibitors has evolved into an important approach toward new therapeutics. Since in these pathways phosphotyrosyl (pTyr) residues provide unique and defining functions either by their creation under the catalysis of PTKs, their recognition and binding by protein modules such as SH2 and phosphotyrosyl binding (PTB) domains, or their destruction by protein-tyrosine phosphatases, pTyr mimetics provide useful general starting points for inhibitor design. Important considerations in the development of such pTyr mimetics include enzymatic stability (particularly toward PTPs), high affinity recognition by target pTyr binding proteins, and good cellular bioavailability. Although small molecule, nonpeptide inhibitors may be ultimate objectives of inhibitor development, peptides frequently serve as display platforms for pTyr mimetics, which afford useful and conceptually straightforward starting points in the development process. Reported herein is a limited overview of pTyr mimetic development as it relates to peptide-based agents. Of particular interest are recent findings that highlight potential limitations of peptides as display platforms for the identification of small molecule leads. One conclusion that results from this work is that while peptide-based approaches toward small molecule inhibitor design are often intellectually satisfying from a structure-based perspective, extrapolation of negative findings to small molecule, nonpeptide contexts should be undertaken with extreme caution.