AbstractStructural biology is routinely used throughout the drug discovery process, from target and hit identification through to clinical candidate selection. Structure-based drug design (SBDD) uses protein-ligand structures to guide iterative cycles of design to produce potent lead molecules. Historically, X-ray crystallography has been the method of choice for generating such structures. However, recent advances in cryo-EM have shown that it too can be used to generate structures of sufficient quality to guide drug discovery. Certain protein classes that are often refractory to crystallisation, such as membrane proteins and multiprotein complexes, have seen success in cryo-EM, thus widening the pool of targets to which SBDD can be applied. In this talk the role of cryo-EM for SBDD will be discussed, including the current state of the art and future perspectives. This will be exemplified by our evaluation of the utility of cryo-EM for fragment-based drug discovery (FBDD). (1)
(1) Fragment-based drug discovery using cryo-EM. M. Saur, et al. Drug Discovery Today, 2019.