New Technique Shows in Detail Where Drug Molecules Hit Their Targets in the Body; Scripps Research Article Published In Cell

Scientists at Scripps Research have invented a way to image, across different tissues and with higher precision than ever before, where drugs bind to their targets in the body. The new method could become a routine tool in drug development. Described in a paper in Cell on April 27, 2022, the new method, called CATCH, attaches fluorescent tags to drug molecules and uses chemical techniques to improve the fluorescent signal. The researchers demonstrated the method with several different experimental drugs, revealing where--even within individual cells--the drug molecules hit their targets. “This method ultimately should allow us, for the first time, to see, relatively easily, why one drug is more potent than another, or why one has a particular side effect while another one doesn’t,” says study senior author Li Ye, PhD, Assistant Professor of Neuroscience at Scripps Research and The Abide-Vividion Chair in Chemistry and Chemical Biology.

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