Electrostatic attraction between a drug (ligand) and its receptor (biopolymer) can be studied in terms of certain recognition sites (hydrogen bonding and hydrophobic) of the interacting molecules that more or less overlap in the drug-receptor complex. Regions near polar XH bonds and atoms bearing lone pairs which are involved in hydrogen bonding, are characterized by positive and negative electrostatic potentials, respectively. On the other hand, in hydrophobic regions, near neutral CH bonds or phenyl rings, the value of the molecular electrostatic field (potential derivative) is approximately zero. Starting from these rules, the electrostatic patterns of classical molecules can be constructed easily by inspection without any numerical calculation. Comparing the electrostatic patterns for a family of geometrically similar molecules allows simple matching rules to be defined. Once the requirements for successful binding are known, new types of active compounds can be designed. The procedure is illustrated by using dihydrofolate reductase inhibitors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry