Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Proteasome inhibitors show promise for drug-resistant malaria

Proteasome inhibitors have significant promise as components of novel combination therapies to treat multidrug-resistant malaria, according to a study published June 6 in the open-access journal PLOS Pathogens by David Fidock, ...

Medications

Researchers finds new RX target for common STD

Research led by Ashok Aiyar, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Microbiology, Immunology and Parasitology at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine, has identified a target that may lead to the development of new treatments ...

Oncology & Cancer

Drug-resistant cancer cells create own Achilles heel

The cells of most patients' cancers are resistant to a class of drugs, called proteasome inhibitors, that should kill them. When studied in the lab, these drugs are highly effective, yet hundreds of clinical trials testing ...

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Small molecule

In pharmacology and biochemistry, a small molecule is an organic compound that is not a polymer. Biopolymers such as nucleic acids, proteins, and polysaccharides (such as starch or cellulose) are not small molecules, although their constituent monomers—ribo- or deoxyribonucleotides, amino acids, and monosaccharides, respectively—are often considered to be. Very small oligomers are also usually considered small molecules, such as dinucleotides, peptides such as the antioxidant glutathione, and disaccharides such as sucrose.

While small molecules almost always have a lower molecular weight than biopolymers, a very small protein with a defined fold, such as the artificial ten-amino-acid protein chignolin[1], can indeed be smaller than some exceptionally large small molecules such as triglycerides.

Small molecules can have a variety of biological functions, serving as cell signalling molecules, as tools in molecular biology, as drugs in medicine, and in countless other roles. These compounds can be natural (such as secondary metabolites) or artificial (such as antiviral drugs); they may have a beneficial effect against a disease (such as FDA approved drugs) or may be detrimental (such as teratogens and carcinogens).

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