CYP (cytochrome P450) biodiversity and biotechnology is of importance given the industrial applications and potential for the huge array of genes and proteins that can constitute up to 1% of a coding genome. Historical biotechnological roles for CYPs in mutant fungi diverting the flux of metabolites towards penicillin production, in biotransformations allowing the production of corticosteroids and CYPs as drug targets contribute to interest in the roles of orphan CYPs in the emerging genomes. This area includes studies related to biotransformations and bioremediation, natural product synthesis and its manipulation, tools for exploiting CYPs and using CYPs as biomarkers and drug targets. Fundamental studies on diverse structure and function, on the ecological and evolution of CYPs through geological time and in drug/pesticide resistance also contribute distinctively to this field of CYP research.
The raison d'ítre for the drug discovery and development process is to provide safe and effective treatments for diseases. Bringing a new drug to market, however, is a time-consuming and expensive process and it remains an imperative for drug companies that they identify ways in which they can accelerate the identification of potential targets and their screening and development in order to maintain a competitive edge. Successful drug discovery efforts include biochemical, biophysical, genetic and immunological approaches, targeting such processes as signal transduction, cell cycle control, apoptosis, gene regulation and metastasis. As the number of these biological targets increases, reliance on bioinformatics and chemoinformatics to improve decision making, by identifying characteristics of successful drugs and sharing knowledge gained within the scientific community, has become a burgeoning area in the post-genomic era of drug discovery.