NMR and computational methods in the structural and dynamic characterization of ligand-receptor interactions

Michela Ghitti, Giovanna Musco, Andrea Spitaleri

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The recurrent failures in drug discovery campaigns, the asymmetry between the enormous financial investments and the relatively scarce results have fostered the development of strategies based on complementary methods. In this context in recent years the rigid lock-and-key binding concept had to be revisited in favour of a dynamic model of molecular recognition accounting for conformational changes of both the ligand and the receptor. The high level of complexity required by a dynamic description of the processes underlying molecular recognition requires a multidisciplinary investigation approach. In this perspective, the combination of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy with molecular docking, conformational searches along with molecular dynamics simulations has given new insights into the dynamic mechanisms governing ligand receptor interactions, thus giving an enormous contribution to the identification and design of new and effective drugs. Herein a succinct overview on the applications of both NMR and computational methods to the structural and dynamic characterization of ligand-receptor interactions will be presented.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
PublisherSpringer New York LLC
Number of pages34
ISBN (Print)9783319029696
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Publication series

NameAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
ISSN (Print)00652598


  • Allostery
  • Conformational sampling
  • Docking
  • Drug discovery
  • Elastic Network Model/ENM
  • Enhanced sampling
  • Essential Dynamics/ED
  • HTS/high through put screening
  • Integrin antagonists
  • Ligand observed
  • Molecular dynamics/MD
  • Monte Carlo
  • NMR/nuclear magnetic resonance
  • NOE nulear overhauser effect
  • Normal Mode Analysis/NMA
  • Receptor flexibility
  • SAR structure activity relationship
  • Target observed
  • trNOE/transfer nuclear overhauser effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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