Piecing together new drugs

Most pharmaceuticals work by binding to proteins and modulating their activity in some way, either inhibiting or stimulating them or preventing their natural substrate from interacting with them. A new way to study these interactions could help in the design of new treatments with fewer side-effects, according to scientists at the University of East Anglia, UK. “Designing novel drugs is a bit like finding the proper piece that fits into a jigsaw puzzle,” explains team leader Jesus Angulo. “Our novel approach allows us to now find the exact piece that matches the complementary shape and graphical content in a protein binding site." The approach is based on a novel nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy technique - DEEP-STD NMR.