In Developing Novel Therapeutics, How Can We Target the Appropriate Function of a Moonlighting Protein and Not Affect Other Functions of the Protein?
The ability to identify all of the functions of moonlighting proteins becomes especially important if the protein plays a key role in disease. A therapeutic that targets one function of a moonlighting protein could adversely affect other functions of the protein as well, including those not involved in the disease, and thereby result in toxicity or side effects. It would be helpful to be able to identify all the functions of a moonlighting protein and make sure that only the function involved in disease is targeted.
In addition, many of the moonlighting proteins that have been identified as being important for infection and virulence in pathogens have orthologs in humans. How can we target the pathogen's function involved in infection and virulence without affecting the human ortholog? Can we find sufficient differences between the structure and function of the bacterial proteins and the human proteins that can be exploited to develop effective and specific drugs?