Medical research

RNA structures of coronavirus reveal potential drug targets

The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus RNA genome structure was studied in detail by researchers from the University of Groningen, the International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology in Warsaw, and Leiden University. The RNA structures ...

Genetics

Rare congenital heart defect rescued by protease inhibition

A research team at the Greenwood Genetic Center (GGC) has successfully used small molecules to restore normal heart and valve development in an animal model for Mucolipidosis II (ML II), a rare genetic disorder. Progressive ...

Medical research

Location, location, location: New research on glycogen storage

When a group of cyclists set off to climb Mount Etna on the 3rd stage of Giro d'Italia today, they will have definitely eaten large amounts of carbohydrates in the form of pasta, rice or potatoes within the past few days. ...

Neuroscience

Sport and memory go hand in hand

If sport is good for the body, it also seems to be good for the brain. By evaluating memory performance following a sport session, neuroscientists from the University of Geneva (UNIGE) demonstrate that an intensive physical ...

Medical research

New drug candidate found for hand, foot and mouth disease

A study appearing next week in the journal Nature Communications offers some good news in the search for antiviral drugs for hard-to-treat diseases. Researchers have identified a potential new drug candidate against enterovirus ...

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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).

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA