Gene based pharmacophores for drug design

Virendra B. Mahesh, Lewis W. Roach, William E. Cannady, Thomas F. Ogle, Darrell W Brann, Edwin D. Bransome, Lawrence B. Hendry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


A new patented technology for drug discovery based upon gene structure utilizes the discovery of stereochemical relationships between small biologically active ligands and specific unwound DNA sequences to create pharmacophores for drug design. The estrogen gene pharmacophore was used to design a new estrogen PDC-7 which as predicted was more estrogenic (2-3 times) in classical in vivo assays than the natural hormone estradiol. Poor fit of PDC-7 into the estrogen receptor protein pharmacophore explained poor binding (15-18%) to the estrogen receptor relative to estradiol. These findings support the hypothesis that receptor assisted insertion of ligand into DNA is a mode of action of certain gene regulatory pharmaceuticals and provide powerful tool for new drug design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)440-455
Number of pages16
JournalMedicinal Chemistry Research
Issue number7-8
StatePublished - Dec 1 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)
  • Organic Chemistry


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