The role of fluorine in Ligand – Protein interaction has been well studied, but much less known about the non-bonding interaction of chlorine and bromine with protein.
A new paper (Angew. Chem. Int. Ed 2009, 48, 2911) from Matter demonstrates the non-covalent interaction between the chlorine or bromine and the aromatic ring in protein.
This Cl/Br…pi interaction might be general use in structure based design towards interaction for aromatic amino acids. It is clear that systematic halogen scan (F, Cl and Br) in the lead structure will be a useful strategy for the lead optimization, not only block the metabolic labile position but also to strengthen protein-ligand binding interaction.