Integrated biophysical approach to fragment screening and validation for fragment-based lead discovery

Hernani Leonardo Silvestre (Lead / Corresponding author), Thomas L. Blundell, Chris Abell, Alessio Ciulli (Lead / Corresponding author)

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    88 Citations (Scopus)


    In fragment-based drug discovery, the weak affinities exhibited by fragments pose significant challenges for screening. Biophysical techniques are used to address this challenge, but there is no clear consensus on which cascade of methods is best suited to identify fragment hits that ultimately translate into bound X-ray structures and provide bona fide starting points for synthesis. We have benchmarked an integrated biophysical approach for fragment screening and validation against Mycobacterium tuberculosis pantothenate synthetase. A primary screen of 1,250 fragments library was performed by thermal shift, followed by secondary screen using one-dimensional NMR spectroscopy (water ligand observed gradient spectroscopy and saturation transfer difference binding experiments) and ultimate hit validation by isothermal titration calorimetry and X-ray crystallography. Our multibiophysical approach identified three distinct binding sites for fragments and laid a solid foundation for successful structure-based elaboration into potent inhibitors.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)12984-12989
    Number of pages6
    JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
    Issue number32
    Publication statusPublished - 6 Aug 2013


    Dive into the research topics of 'Integrated biophysical approach to fragment screening and validation for fragment-based lead discovery'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this