The many new and fascinating data which have been gathered in the period 1985-1990 have made molecular endocrinology into a mature discipline stimulating creative chemists to design innovative drugs. Within a few years, the primary structures of all the steroid receptor proteins and most of the steroid-converting enzymes have been determined and detailed studies of their mechanism of action at a molecular level have become possible. Medicinal chemists have developed steroidal affinity probes to examine the binding sites of enzymes and receptors, and these investigations were supplemented with studies of modified enzymes and receptors prepared with the aid of site-directed mutagenesis. In view of these rapid scientific developments, the author deemed it appropriate to review the present knowledge of the medicinal chemistry of the steroids. In this book, the discussion is supported by the addition of some chapters which summarize the available data on the biological counterparts of the steroids, the steroid-converting enzymes and the steroid receptors.
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