Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


PHOTOBIODRUG — Result In Brief

Project ID: 334257
Funded under: FP7-PEOPLE
Country: Spain

Drug-biomolecule interactions under scrutiny

Understanding the mechanisms underlying the interaction of drugs with key biomolecules such as DNA or protein is central to avoiding adverse side effects.
Drug-biomolecule interactions under scrutiny
Most drugs work by binding to specific biomolecules and causing them to lose biological function. Drugs can often behave as photosensitizers by absorbing UV light and generating photosensitizing side effects directly related to phototoxicity, photomutagenicity and photoallergy. Investigation of drug active sites and the implicated reaction mechanisms would improve our overall understanding of the photosensitizing potential of new drug candidates.

The EU-funded PHOTOBIODRUG (Excited states as probes to investigate drug-DNA and drug-protein interactions. photosensitized processes leading to damage to biomolecules) project aimed to elucidate the photochemical reaction pathways that can provoke damage to the biomolecules. In this context, the consortium employed spectroscopic techniques to study drug-DNA or drug-protein interactions.

As a first step, scientists generated model systems of various drugs linked to tyrosine, histidine or tryptophan amino acids. Chromophores were also included in the structure to evaluate the possible changes in photo reactivity. Experiments on these drug/protein complexes clearly showed that the protein microenvironment plays a significant role in the conformational relaxation of the drug. In addition, the reaction mechanism of the drug within the protein varied depending on the drug and on the solution.

Taken together, the PHOTOBIODRUG study unveiled important parameters in drug-biomolecule interactions that may lead to photo damage. This should contribute to the design of new therapeutic agents with less adverse side effects that may have applications in pharmaceutical and skin photo protection industries.

Related information


Life Sciences


Drug, DNA, protein, UV, phototoxicity, chromophore
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