1D NMR WaterLOGSY as an efficient method for fragment-based lead discovery

J Enzyme Inhib Med Chem. 2019 Dec;34(1):1218-1225. doi: 10.1080/14756366.2019.1636235.


WaterLOGSY is a sensitive ligand-observed NMR experiment for detection of interaction between a ligand and a protein and is now well-established as a screening technique for fragment-based lead discovery. Here we develop and assess a protocol to derive ligand epitope mapping from WaterLOGSY data and demonstrate its general applicability in studies of fragment-sized ligands binding to six different proteins (glycogen phosphorylase, protein peroxiredoxin 5, Bcl-xL, Mcl-1, HSP90, and human serum albumin). We compare the WaterLOGSY results to those obtained from the more widely used saturation transfer difference experiments and to the 3D structures of the complexes when available. In addition, we evaluate the impact of ligand labile protons on the WaterLOGSY data. Our results demonstrate that the WaterLOGSY experiment can be used as an additional confirmation of the binding mode of a ligand to a protein.

Keywords: WaterLOGSY; binding mode; fragment-based lead discovery; saturation transfer difference; solvent-exposed.

MeSH terms

  • Binding Sites
  • Drug Discovery / methods*
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy / methods*
  • Proteins / chemistry


  • Proteins