Fragment Screening and HIV Therapeutics.

Abstract:

Fragment screening has proven to be a powerful alternative to traditional methods for drug discovery. Biophysical methods, such as X-ray crystallography, NMR spectroscopy, and surface plasmon resonance, are used to screen a diverse library of small molecule compounds. Although compounds identified via this approach have relatively weak affinity, they provide a good platform for lead development and are highly efficient binders with respect to their size. Fragment screening has been utilized for a wide range of targets, including HIV-1 proteins. Here, we review the fragment screening studies targeting HIV-1 proteins using X-ray crystallography or surface plasmon resonance. These studies have successfully detected binding of novel fragments to either previously established or new sites on HIV-1 protease and reverse transcriptase. In addition, fragment screening against HIV-1 reverse transcriptase has been used as a tool to better understand the complex nature of ligand binding to a flexible target.

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