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    Prodrugs are a wide group of substances of low or no pharmacological activity. The search for prodrugs is aimed at obtaining drugs characterized by better pharmacokinetic properties, pharmaceutical availability and selective activity of the active substance. Prodrug strategies involve chemical modifications and syntheses of new structures as well as the establishment of systems that deliver active substances for therapeutic aims that is prodrug-based treatments. The paper describes decisive factors in prodrug designing, such as enzymes participating in their activation, concepts of chemical modifications in the group of antiviral drugs and new anticancer treatments based on prodrugs (ADEPT, GDEPT, LEAPT). Prodrugs are seen as a possibility to design medicines which are selective for their therapeutic aim, for example a tumorous cell or a microorganism. Such an approach is possible thanks to the knowledge on: pathogenesis of diseases at molecular level, metabolism of healthy and affected cells as well as metabolism of microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, protozoa, etc.). Many drugs which have been used for years are still studied in relation to their metabolism and their molecular mechanism of operation, providing new knowledge on active substances. Many of them meet the criteria of being a prodrug. The paper indicates methods of discovering new structures or modifications of known structures and their synthesis as well as new therapeutic strategies using prodrugs, which are expected to be successful and to broaden the knowledge on what is happening to the drug in the body, in addition to providing a molecular explanation of xenobiotics activity. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.


    Monika A Lesniewska-Kowiel, Izabela Muszalska. Strategies in the designing of prodrugs, taking into account the antiviral and anticancer compounds. European journal of medicinal chemistry. 2017 Mar 31;129:53-71

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    PMID: 28219047

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