Identifying new ways to target proteins involved in human diseases is a top priority for many researchers. It can be difficult to figure out how to change the function of these proteins in live cells. Scientists at Scripps Research have developed a new way to see how proteins interact with drug-like molecules in human cells. This can provide important information on how to target these proteins for treatment. Their strategy, published in Nature Chemical Biology, uses chemistry and analytical techniques to find out where proteins and small molecules bind together. This method could lead to more effective treatments for diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s. The researchers aim to understand how proteins work in all human cell types to develop effective treatments for a wide range of diseases. They used chemical probes that can be activated by light to capture where the probes bind to proteins. This helped them find hundreds of new places where small molecules can attach to proteins. This information could be used to design new treatments that interact with proteins in a more targeted way. The researchers hope to use this technology to target proteins related to autoimmune diseases and cancer next.

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