Viswanathan_RajiDr. Rajalakshmi Viswanathan, professor of chemistry and co-chair of the department of chemistry at Yeshiva College, published “Protein Binding Supersites” on Science Trends. As she explained, “Communication between protein molecules is important for many biological processes. Proteins are very large molecules with thousands of atoms. It is, therefore, important to identify the regions of a protein, protein binding interfaces, that a protein uses to communicate with other proteins. Identifying these binding interfaces enables interfering with the protein activity, either to enhance or disrupt activity by designing suitable molecules. These protein interfaces have been the targets of several modern drugs, such as ipilumimab, a recent drug approved by the FDA to fight cancer.”

To identify these sites, she and others have created a “docking-based method that successfully predicts the binding interfaces of proteins that does not require prior knowledge of the protein’s binding partner,” and the results show that “docking to a generic partner is able to identify the likely binding site on a protein, which suggests that proteins have binding supersites, a favored site for interaction.”

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