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Aug 01, 2012 (Vol. 32, No. 14)

Allosteric Database

  • Multiple search/browse options
  • News section outdated

Proteins are subject to modulation by ligands that bind to sites other than the protein’s active site. Many of these so-called allosteric modulators, as well as their protein targets, are catalogued in the Allosteric Database at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. The database contains approximately 8,000 modulator entries, and can be browsed by modulator, target, or index. The modulator browse page is nice in that it provides the 2D structure of each modulator and also denotes whether the modulator is an activator/inhibitor, endogenous, and “druggable”. One annoying limitation to the page is that the actual names of the modulators are not displayed. For that, one must proceed to the pages for individual compounds. There is also the option to search the database, if users have specific compounds/proteins in mind.

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*The opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s) and should not be construed as reflecting the viewpoints of the publisher, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., the publishing house, or employees and affiliates thereof.

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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

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