The DNA binding domain (DBD) of the tumor suppressor p53 is the site of several oncogenic mutations. A subset of these mutations lowers the unfolding temperature of the DBD. Unfolding leads to the exposure of a hydrophobic β-strand and nucleates aggregation which results in pathologies through loss of function and dominant negative/gain of function effects.
Discovery of new therapeutics is a very challenging, expensive and time-consuming process. With the number of approved drugs declining steadily, combined with increasing costs, a rational approach is needed to facilitate, expedite and streamline the drug discovery process. In silico methods are playing key roles in the discovery of a growing number of marketed drugs. The use of computational approaches, particularly molecular dynamics, in drug design is rapidly gaining momentum and acceptance as an essential part of the toolkit for modern drug discovery.