Proteases and protease inhibitors in infectious diseases

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Journal Article
Medicinal Research Reviews, 2018, 38 (4), pp. 1295 - 1331
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© 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. There are numerous proteases of pathogenic organisms that are currently targeted for therapeutic intervention along with many that are seen as potential drug targets. This review discusses the chemical and biological makeup of some key druggable proteases expressed by the five major classes of disease causing agents, namely bacteria, viruses, fungi, eukaryotes, and prions. While a few of these enzymes including HIV protease and HCV NS3-4A protease have been targeted to a clinically useful level, a number are yet to yield any clinical outcomes in terms of antimicrobial therapy. A significant aspect of this review discusses the chemical and pharmacological characteristics of inhibitors of the various proteases discussed. A total of 25 inhibitors have been considered potent and safe enough to be trialed in humans and are at different levels of clinical application. We assess the mechanism of action and clinical performance of the protease inhibitors against infectious agents with their developmental strategies and look to the next frontiers in the use of protease inhibitors as anti-infective agents.
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