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Papers of the Week

2020 Mar 13

Mol Divers

Rational approaches for the design of various GABA modulators and their clinical progression.


Bhagat K, Singh JV, Pagare PP, Kumar N, Sharma A, Kaur G, Kinarivala N, Gandu S, Singh H, Sharma S, Bedi P MS
Mol Divers. 2020 Mar 13.
PMID: 32170466.


GABA (γ-amino butyric acid) is an important inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. Attenuation of GABAergic neurotransmission plays an important role in the etiology of several neurological disorders including epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's chorea, migraine, Parkinson's disease, neuropathic pain, and depression. Increase in the GABAergic activity may be achieved through direct agonism at the GABA receptors, inhibition of enzymatic breakdown of GABA, or by inhibition of the GABA transport proteins (GATs). These functionalities make GABA receptor modulators and GATs attractive drug targets in brain disorders associated with decreased GABA activity. There have been several reports of development of GABA modulators (GABA receptors, GABA transporters, and GABAergic enzyme inhibitors) in the past decade. Therefore, the focus of the present review is to provide an overview on various design strategies and synthetic approaches toward developing GABA modulators. Furthermore, mechanistic insights, structure-activity relationships, and molecular modeling inputs for the biologically active derivatives have also been discussed. Summary of the advances made over the past few years in the clinical translation and development of GABA receptor modulators is also provided. This compilation will be of great interest to the researchers working in the field of neuroscience. From the light of detailed literature, it can be concluded that numerous molecules have displayed significant results and their promising potential, clearly placing them ahead as potential future drug candidates.