A cryo- electron microscopy technique has been utilized by researchers at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. The technique aids in observing the interactions between a drug molecule and its protein receptor. The idea behind using this technique is achieve greater effectiveness which can be brought about by finding out how drug molecules can be identified. This information can be obtained with the help of this approach.
The efficacy of drug molecules largely depends on the manner in which they are bound to their target receptors. For a number of patients, if the drug bounding is managed to be done properly, the effects could prove to be far more therapeutic. Thus, it is crucial to develop an understanding of the interaction between the different components of the drug molecule with the receptor binding pocket. Although, it cannot be ignored, that this very task is a rather difficult one to perform.
The technique works with cooling a sample down and then imaging it. Single- particle cryo electron microscopy brings down the temperature of the same to a very low degree after which a new type of electron microscope is used for imaging it. The entire process is managed at less than a billionth of one meter for the researchers.
One of the researchers involved in the study, Sandip Basak explain that earlier researchers lacked the confidence to model the drug in its binding pocket. He continued by saying that it is possible to do that now along with the help of molecular dynamics simulations, viewing the drug move in the pocket is also possible.
A class of drugs called setrons, which are used to manage vomiting and nausea were used by the researchers to investigate with the new system. They were chosen as they had room for improvement pertaining to their inability to work for everyone. The interaction of setrons with their target serotonin receptors in the gastrointestinal tract was studied by the researchers using single-particle cryo-electron microscopy. The team tweaked the components of setrons after it found out those components which are vital for binding; for further validation. It can thusly be concluded that a great amount of insight on drug and target interactions can be obtained using this new technique, which will ultimately help in improving the efficacy of drugs.
Gaurang Taylor is an MD/MBA candidate at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Harvard Business School. He contributes regularly to CardioSource World News and Emergency Physicians Monthly. He is interested in developing scalable, tech-based solutions for medicine and education. He loves to share his knowledge and recent trends in the Healthcare Department by posting various articles. He has experience in medical device pathways and is passionate about understanding the human body.