A Protocol to Experimentally Identify Non-specific, Non Drug-Like Ligand “Hits” from Drug Discovery Screening Assays (20096)
To discover new lead compounds for drug design, large libraries of chemical compounds are screened for their ability to modulate receptor and enzyme protein activity and function. The screens for such compounds are performed experimentally (high throughput screening) or computationally (virtual screening). Hits are identified or verified in vitro using a defined activity assay. However, during these large screens, a number of compounds that have effects on a number of different targets are identified, indicating that several of these compounds demonstrate a lack of specificity. By the time these inhibitors have been defined as non-specific (or “pathological”), much time, expense and effort have been dedicated to the screening of the compounds. This contributes to the expense of drug discovery.
Investigators at Northwestern University have shown that the non-specificity of these “pathological” inhibitors may work through a mechanism whereby these compounds form large aggregates in solution that adsorb or absorb the protein/enzyme target. The investigators have designed a protocol to identify these non-specific modulators to aid in streamlining the screening process in order to remove false inhibitors and to maximize the time and resources spent on favorable hits. The protocol focuses on the identification of phenomenological and physical properties that act as signatures for these non-specific modulators.
FIELD OF APPLICATION: A good protocol to identify these “pathological” inhibitors would be used in every screening assay by every drug company and by many biotech companies. The protocol could be sold as a kit with all the reagants necessary pre-assembled.
ADVANTAGES: Much effort has gone into filtering screening databases for unwanted compounds. Since the mechansim of action of these “pathological” inhibitors has been unclear, the filtering has only been partly successful and many non-specific ligands may be found in most, if not all, drug screening databases. This protocol identifies an effective, efficient, and simple method to identify “pathological” inhibitors. U. S. Patent No. 6,887,658 has issued
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