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Analyzing the Potential of AlphaFold in Drug Discovery

By September 12, 2022No Comments

Over the past few decades, very few new antibiotics have been developed, largely because current methods for screening potential drugs are prohibitively expensive and time-consuming. One promising new strategy is to use computational models, which offer a potentially faster and cheaper way to identify new drugs.


new study from MIT reveals the potential and limitations of one such computational approach. Using protein structures generated by an artificial intelligence program called AlphaFold, the researchers explored whether existing models could accurately predict the interactions between bacterial proteins and antibacterial compounds. If so, then researchers could begin to use this type of modeling to do large-scale screens for new compounds that target previously untargeted proteins. This would enable the development of antibiotics with unprecedented mechanisms of action, a task essential to addressing the antibiotic resistance crisis.