JUPITER, FL, February 1, 2010 The search for new drug compounds is probably worse than looking for a needle in a haystack because scientists are limited in the size of the haystacks they can rummage throughtime and money make it virtually impossible to screen or search through super-large libraries of potential compounds. This is a serious problem, because there is enormous interest in identifying synthetic molecules that bind to proteins for applications in drug discovery, biology, and proteomics, and larger libraries should mean higher odds of success.
But large libraries come with large problems. Because even compounds with only modest affinity (binding to the target protein receptor with less force than those with high affinity) are usually marked as hits, researchers often end up with several hundred of them and, because of practical constraints involving time and money, no easy way to determine which might be the highest affinity or best compound to serve as a starting point to design a drug. These limitations and others have drastically blunted the use of very large librariesmonster librariesin binding assays.
Now, in research published in the most recent issue of the journal Chemistry & Biology, Tom Kodadek, a professor at The Scripps Research Institute's Florida campus, and his colleagues at Scripps Florida and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center have devised an innovative new way to solve this longstanding problem.
"Current methods severely limit the size of the libraries you can screen," said Kodadek. "If you get 20 hits out of a 100,000 compound library, it's feasible to re-synthesize each of those hits to test which are the most effective. But what if you want to screen 10 million compounds? It takes an impossible amount of time to re-synthesize promising compounds for further study. To find the most potent ligands, our new method stands head and shoulders over what is available to researchers to
|Contact: Keith McKeown|
Scripps Research Institute