Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Research heralds dynamic way to speed up drug design

29.09.2006
In a breakthrough that could revolutionise drug design for a whole range of diseases, researchers at the University of Leeds believe they’ve discovered a way to reduce the costly and time-consuming search for new drug molecules.

In a paper published this week in Angewandte Chemie, Professor Steve Homans from Leeds’ Faculty of Biological Sciences explains his method for getting exactly the right molecule first time, by looking not just at the physical shape required to fit the target protein but also at the complex dynamics of the interaction.

Almost everything in the body – including diseases – is a result of a protein binding with another molecule, known as a ligand. Most drug treatments work by blocking this process with another molecule, which takes the place of the natural ligand. Because the binding process is still only partly understood, drug companies currently have to search through millions of possible candidates to find the right ‘fit’, a process which is both time-consuming and costly.

Professor Homans explains: “In the past, scientists have tended to look at the protein ligand interaction like a lock and key – as if the protein is a fixed shape into which the ligand fits. In reality, it’s more like a hand and glove, where you can’t see the real shape of the glove until the hand is inside it. Proteins are very dynamic and the movement that takes place during the interaction with the ligand is an important factor in the binding process.”

... more about:
»Design »Dynamic »Ligand »factor

“Another key factor is the action of the water molecules in the solution which surrounds the protein. The problem in drug design is knowing to what extent all these factors are influencing the binding process.”

For the first time, Professor Homans’ team have found a way to put a number on how important these different factors are to a protein interaction. They believe that – if their method holds true for all proteins – it will be possible to compute these figures to identify a ligand that is a perfect fit. Ideally, they want to find or create one which will bind more tightly to the protein than its natural counterpart and so act as an effective treatment by fully blocking the target interaction.

The research was done using a multidisciplinary approach including nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and protein crystallography. From the NMR data, the team were able to create a computer simulation of the dynamic protein interaction. Professor Homans now plans to test this process using a real target protein for disease – HIV.

“Scientists have known for many years that protein, ligand and water all play a part in the protein interaction, but there has always been intense debate about the contribution each makes. We believe we’ve finally answered that question and opened up a potentially cheaper and more effective avenue for drug design,” he said.

Abigail Chard | alfa
Further information:
http://reporter.leeds.ac.uk/press_releases/current/drug_design.htm

Further reports about: Design Dynamic Ligand factor

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Cancer diagnosis: no more needles?
25.05.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

nachricht Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found
25.05.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Alternsforschung - Fritz-Lipmann-Institut e.V. (FLI)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>