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The druggability of a target is defined by the likelihood of a certain target binding site to be amendable to functional modulation by a small molecule in vivo. Thus, druggability depends on the ability of the developed small molecule to reach the target site, the properties of the ligand binding pocket and our ability to develop chemical matter that efficiently interact with the drug binding site of interest. Historically enzymes have been the main drug targets because the inhibition of their activity can be easily assayed and catalytic centres are often attractive drug binding sites. However, despite considerable effort, a number of classical enzyme families have not been successfully targeted. More recently protein-protein interactions received considerable attention and several clinical inhibitors have now been developed. Despite the considerable progress made expanding target space, a large number of targets with a very strong rationale for targeting remain intractable. In the following chapter I will summarize progress made in developing inhibitors for challenging drug binding sites and emerging target families.

Original publication




Journal article


Handb Exp Pharmacol

Publication Date





43 - 58


Druggability, Epigenetic reader domains, Phosphatases, Protein interaction inhibitors, RAS, Structure based design, Animals, Binding Sites, Drug Discovery, GTP Phosphohydrolases, Humans, Molecular Targeted Therapy, Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases