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Do I need to perform crystallographic studies for drug discovery?
Only if the target protein/domain belongs to a superfamily of which one member’s structure is known.
I have identified a new protein but do not know its structure. Is it possible to design a small molecular probe?
Yes. For a new protein, small peptides can be designed. Peptides are easy to synthesize and will help identify hotspots in a complex system, which can be used for drug discovery.
How long is the drug discovery process?
It’s variable, depending on the complexity. A person working full-time on a project can provide the first generation in 3-6 months.
What are the limitations?
Recombinant production is limited to globular proteins. That is, transmembrane-bound proteins are not available.