Cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM), a powerful biophysical technique that can analyse molecular assemblies, is changing the paradigm in structure-based drug design.
As targets become more challenging, solving structures of drug target molecules or biologics becomes increasingly difficult. Cryo-EM empowers drug discovery teams to take advantage of rational drug design for many more major drug target classes, opening a pathway to best-in-class drugs.
Cryo-EM allows the structural analysis of protein complexes flash-frozen in their near native states. One can now directly visualise not just large macromolecules, but also smaller proteins complexes, including membrane proteins. This powerful technique can be used to complement traditional methods, such as X-ray crystallography (XRD) or nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) for structure-based drug discovery.
By Hans Raaijmakers, Dr Mazdak Radjainia, Dr Hervé-William Remigy, and Aleksandar Stefanovic