Mass spectrometry for fragment screening.

23 Jan 2018

Fragment-based approaches in chemical biology and drug discovery have been widely adopted worldwide in both academia and industry. Fragment hits tend to interact weakly with their targets, necessitating the use of sensitive biophysical techniques to detect their binding. Common fragment screening techniques include differential scanning fluorimetry (DSF) and ligand-observed NMR. Validation and characterization of hits is usually performed using a combination of protein-observed NMR, isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) and X-ray crystallography. In this context, MS is a relatively underutilized technique in fragment screening for drug discovery. MS-based techniques have the advantage of high sensitivity, low sample consumption and being label-free. This review highlights recent examples of the emerging use of MS-based techniques in fragment screening.