31 December 2012

Review of 2012 reviews

2012 has been a bumper year for fragment conferences and reviews. Starting with the Molecular Medicine Tri-Con in San Francisco, moving south to the CHI FBDD meeting in San Diego, east to the ACS Fall Meeting in Philadelphia, back to FBLD 2012 in San Francisco, and ending with FBDD Down Under in Melbourne, there have been plenty of opportunities to learn about the latest work in the field. Two new books were also published, one focused particularly on crystallography and the other focused heavily on computational methods.

Practical Fragments has highlighted one review paper, and I thought I’d mention a few others that came out over the past year.

Chris Abell and colleagues at the University of Cambridge published “Fragment-based approaches in drug discovery and chemical biology” in Biochemistry. This is an excellent and wide-ranging general review, covering theory, library design, screening methods, fragment advancement, applications, limitations, and future trends. If you’re new to the field or want a good refresher, this is the place to go.

Tom Blundell and coworkers, also at the University of Cambridge, published “Biophysical and computational fragment-based approaches to targeting protein-protein interactions: applications in structure-guided drug discovery” in Quarterly Review of Biophysics. As the title suggests, the focus is on protein-protein interactions, but there is plenty of general interest, including lots of unpublished data and practical suggestions.

Aaron Oakley and colleagues at the University of Wollongong, Australia, published “Fragment-based screening by protein crystallography: successes and pitfalls” in Int. J. Mol. Sci. This covers the entire process of crystallographic screening, from library assembly through model building, with a nice table of recent examples and several in-depth case studies. It also touches on potential pitfalls and complementary fragment-finding methods.

Finally, Chungquan Sheng and Wannian Zhang of the Second Military Medical University in Shanghai published “Fragment informatics and computational fragment-based drug design: an overview and update” in Medicinal Research Reviews. With 267 references, this is a great compilation of computational methods that touch on numerous aspects of fragment-based lead discovery.

And with that, Practical Fragments thanks all our readers and says goodbye to 2012. Please keep your comments coming, and may 2013 be a splendid year!

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