Identifying Functional Groups in Common Drugs

The mechanism behind how a drug works lies the in the structural geometry of the drug its receptor molecule (the protein to which the drug binds). The specific recognition between the two molecules is a result of functional group interactions. Examples of these interactions are:

1) Hydrogen bonding -- one group is the hydrogen bond donor, the other the hydrogen bond acceptor. X-H...Y, where X and Y can be N, O, or F.

2) Dipole-dipole interaction-- polar bonds can have an attraction for each e.g., electrostatic interaction between positively and negatively charged functional group

3)Hydrophobic interaction Non-polar functional groups tend to self associate in water because of water's self-associating
tendency. Many molecules have one or more non-polar structures e.g., benzene or phenyl rings.

Let's take a look at some of the drugs pictured in your text and see if you can identify the functional groups.

The following groups were discussed in the previous lesson.

methyl ether aldehyde carboxylic acid
alcohol ester ketone phosphoric acid
amine thiol amide  

NOTE: Although benzene is not classified as a functional group, it is a very important structure in the design of drugs.

Shown below is an asiprin molecule which contain several functional groups. Click on the box below the aspirin molecule to view each of the groups. Then type your answer in the boxes on the right..

Click to view the functional group
group 1 Reset
group 2 Reset

group 3

group 4 Reset

Type the functional group in the box provided and click the submit button. Choose from the choices shown above.

Group 1:

Group 2:

Group 3:

Group 4:

What is this structure called? Reset




You are now finished with Part I. Click here to go to part II.