Structure-and-mechanism-based design and discovery of therapeutics for cocaine overdose and addiction

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41 Scopus citations


(-)-Cocaine is a widely abused drug and there is currently no available anti-cocaine therapeutic. Promising agents, such as anti-cocaine catalytic antibodies and high-activity mutants of human butyrylcholinesterase (BChE), for therapeutic treatment of cocaine overdose have been developed through structure-and-mechanism-based design and discovery. In particular, a unique computational design strategy based on the modeling and simulation of the rate-determining transition state has been developed and used to design and discover desirable high-activity mutants of BChE. One of the discovered high-activity mutants of BChE has a ∼456-fold improved catalytic efficiency against (-)-cocaine. The encouraging outcome of the structure-and-mechanism- based design and discovery effort demonstrates that the unique computational design approach based on transition state modeling and simulation is promising for rational enzyme redesign and drug discovery. The general approach of the structure-and-mechanism-based design and discovery may be used to design high-activity mutants of any enzyme or catalytic antibody.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)836-843
Number of pages8
JournalOrganic and Biomolecular Chemistry
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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