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Hot-Spotting with Thermal Scanning: A Ligand- and Structure-Independent Assessment of Target Ligandability

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journal contribution
posted on 2017-05-24, 00:00 authored by Molly Chilton, Ben Clennell, Fredrik Edfeldt, Stefan Geschwindner
Evaluating the ligandability of a protein target is a key component when defining hit-finding strategies or when prioritize among drug targets. Computational as well as biophysical approaches based on nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) fragment screening are powerful approaches but suffer from specific constraints that limit their usage. Here, we demonstrate the applicability of high-throughput thermal scanning (HTTS) as a simple and generic biophysical fragment screening method to reproduce assessments from NMR-based screening. By applying this method to a large set of proteins we can furthermore show that the assessment is predictive of the success of high-throughput screening (HTS). The few divergences for targets of low ligandability originate from the sensitivity differences of the orthogonal biophysical methods. We thus applied a new strategy making use of modulations in the solvent structure to improve assay sensitivity. This novel approach enables improved ligandability assessments in accordance with NMR-based assessments and more importantly positions the methodology as a valuable option for biophysical fragment screening.

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