Over the last 15 years, the role of NMR spectroscopy in the lead identification and optimization stages of pharmaceutical drug discovery has steadily increased. NMR occupies a unique niche in the biophysical analysis of drug-like compounds because of its ability to identify binding sites, affinities, and ligand poses at the level of individual amino acids without necessarily solving the structure of the protein-ligand complex. However, it can also provide structures of flexible proteins and low-affinity (K(d)>10(-6)M) complexes, which often fail to crystallize. This chapter emphasizes a throughput-focused protocol that aims to identify practical aspects of binding site characterization, automated and semiautomated NMR assignment methods, and structure determination of protein-ligand complexes by NMR.
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