A Liquid Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry Method for Screening Disulfide Tethering Fragments

  • 10.1177/2472555217732072
  • SLAS DISCOVERY: Advancing the Science of Drug Discovery
  • p 183-192, Volume 23, Issue 2,
  • journal-article
We report the refinement of a high-throughput, liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS)–based screening method for the identification of covalent small-molecule binders to proteins. Using a custom library of 1600 disulfide-capped fragments targeting surface cysteine residues, we optimize sample preparation, chromatography, and ionization conditions to maximize the reliability and flexibility of the approach. Data collection at a rate of 84 s per sample balances speed with reliability for sustained screening over multiple, diverse projects run over a 24-month period. The method is applicable to protein targets of various classes and a range of molecular masses. Data are processed in a custom pipeline that calculates a percent bound value for each compound and identifies false positives by calculating significance of detected masses (signal significance). An example pipeline is available through Biovia’s ScienceCloud Protocol Exchange. Data collection and analysis methods for the screening of covalent adducts of intact proteins are now fast enough to screen the largest covalent compound libraries in 1 to 2 days.