The Francis Crick Institute
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Proteome-wide structural analysis identifies warhead- and coverage-specific biases in cysteine-focused chemoproteomics.

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-07-27, 12:48 authored by Matthew EH White, Jesús Gil, Edward W Tate
Covalent drug discovery has undergone a resurgence over the past two decades and reactive cysteine profiling has emerged in parallel as a platform for ligand discovery through on- and off-target profiling; however, the scope of this approach has not been fully explored at the whole-proteome level. We combined AlphaFold2-predicted side-chain accessibilities for >95% of the human proteome with a meta-analysis of eighteen public cysteine profiling datasets, totaling 44,187 unique cysteine residues, revealing accessibility biases in sampled cysteines primarily dictated by warhead chemistry. Analysis of >3.5 million cysteine-fragment interactions further showed that hit elaboration and optimization drives increased bias against buried cysteine residues. Based on these data, we suggest that current profiling approaches cover a small proportion of potential ligandable cysteine residues and propose future directions for increasing coverage, focusing on high-priority residues and depth. All analysis and produced resources are freely available and extendable to other reactive amino acids.