Transition states, analogues, and drug development

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

100 Scopus citations


Enzymes achieve their transition states by dynamic conformational searches on the femtosecond to picosecond time scale. Mimics of reactants at enzymatic transition states bind tightly to enzymes by stabilizing the conformation optimized through evolution for transition state formation. Instead of forming the transient transition state geometry, transition state analogues convert the short-lived transition state to a stable thermodynamic state. Enzymatic transition states are understood by combining kinetic isotope effects and computational chemistry. Analogues of the transition state can bind millions of times more tightly than substrates and show promise for drug development for several targets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-81
Number of pages11
JournalACS Chemical Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 18 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine


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