Structural biology is an invaluable tool in modern drug discovery, providing key insights into the interactions of small-molecule drugs with their protein targets. As in many aspects of the drug discovery process, significant synergies can be realized in structural biology by the contemporaneous pursuit of many target proteins from a single structural and functional class. We will review some of those synergies here using the example of the protein kinases – an important class of drug targets that has recently been the subject of intensive study. We conclude by discussing some of the technical advances in X-ray crystallography that have enabled implementation of high-throughput structural biology as applied to drug lead optimization.
Keywords: crystallography, lead optimization, protein structure
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