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Structure-activity relationships (SAR) are the traditional practices of medicinal chemistry which try to modify the effect or the potency (i.e. activity) of bioactive chemical compounds by modifying their chemical structure. Medicinal chemists use the techniques of chemical synthesis to insert new chemical groups into the biomedical compound and test the modifications for their biological effects.

This enables the identification and determination of the chemical groups responsible for evoking a target biological effect in the organism. This method was later refined to build mathematical relationships between a chemical structure and its biological activity, known as quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSAR). A related term is structure affinity relationship (SAFIR).

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SAR and SAR paradox

The basic assumption for all molecule based hypotheses is that similar molecules have similar activities. This principle is also called Structure-Activity Relationship (SAR). The underlying problem is therefore how to define a small difference on a molecular level, since each kind of activity, e.g. reaction ability, biotransformation ability, solubility, target activity, and so on, might depend on another difference. A good example was given in the bioisosterism review of Patanie/LaVoie.[1]

In general, one is more interested in finding strong trends. Created hypotheses usually rely on a finite number of chemical data. Thus, the induction principle should be respected to avoid overfitted hypotheses and deriving overfitted and useless interpretations on structural/molecular data.

The SAR paradox refers to the fact that it is not the case that all similar molecules have similar activities.

See also

References

  1. ^ G. A. Patani, E. J. LaVoie, Bioisosterism: A Rational Approach in Drug Design. Chem. Rev., 1996, 96, 3147-3176. doi:10.1021/cr950066q

External links

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