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Advanced Drug Candidate Screening Method Developed in Korea
Cell Membranes
Advanced Drug Candidate Screening Method Developed in Korea
  • By Cho Jin-young
  • June 23, 2015, 04:45
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A newer building on the campus of the Pohang University of Science and Technology. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)
A newer building on the campus of the Pohang University of Science and Technology. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

 

Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) professor Ryu Sung-ho announced on June 22 that his research team developed a technique for measuring the degree of bonding between a ligand and a cellular membrane protein.

[[{"fid":"11913","view_mode":"body_image_right","fields":{"format":"body_image_right","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Ryu Sung-ho, professor at Pohang University of Science and Technology.","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","attributes":{"alt":"Ryu Sung-ho, professor at Pohang University of Science and Technology.","height":696,"width":550,"class":"media-element file-body-image-right"},"link_text":null}]]The team also found out that the protein slows down during the bonding, overturning the 40-year-old Saffman–Delbrück model. With the new technique, drug candidates can be screened based solely on microscopic observation, and the screening cost is expected to be reduced from about 600,000 won (US$542) to around 3,000 won (US$2.71) per session.

At present, the development of more than half of new drugs makes use of the interaction between ligands and cellular membrane proteins. Complex refining processes requring radioactive materials or gold have to be employed in order to figure out the degree of bonding between the cellular membrane protein and ligands.

“Our new discovery is meaningful enough to be capable of changing the existing biophysical paradigm,” the professor explained, adding, “It is very excellent in biochemical application as well, to the point of significantly reducing the primary drug candidate screening cost.”

Details of the research are available on the May 4 online edition of Angewandte Chemie.