Lessons from Hot Spot Analysis for Fragment-Based Drug Discovery.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, Volume 36, Issue 11, p.724-36 (2015)


Analysis of binding energy hot spots at protein surfaces can provide crucial insights into the prospects for successful application of fragment-based drug discovery (FBDD), and whether a fragment hit can be advanced into a high-affinity, drug-like ligand. The key factor is the strength of the top ranking hot spot, and how well a given fragment complements it. We show that published data are sufficient to provide a sophisticated and quantitative understanding of how hot spots derive from a protein 3D structure, and how their strength, number, and spatial arrangement govern the potential for a surface site to bind to fragment-sized and larger ligands. This improved understanding provides important guidance for the effective application of FBDD in drug discovery.