Advances in NMR Methods To Map Allosteric Sites: From Models to Translation
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The last five years have witnessed major developments in the understanding of the allosteric phenomenon, broadly defined as coupling between remote molecular sites. Such advances have been driven not only by new theoretical models and pharmacological applications of allostery, but also by progress in the experimental approaches designed to map allosteric sites and transitions. Among these techniques, NMR spectroscopy has played a major role given its unique near-atomic resolution and sensitivity to the dynamics that underlie allosteric couplings. Here, we highlight recent progress in the NMR methods tailored to investigate allostery with the goal of offering an overview of which NMR approaches are best suited for which allosterically relevant questions. The picture of the allosteric "NMR toolbox" is provided starting from one of the simplest models of allostery (i.e., the four-state thermodynamic cycle) and continuing to more complex multistate mechanisms. We also review how such an "NMR toolbox" has assisted the elucidation of the allosteric molecular basis for disease-related mutations and the discovery of novel leads for allosteric drugs. From this overview, it is clear that NMR plays a central role not only in experimentally validating transformative theories of allostery, but also in tapping the full translational potential of allosteric systems.
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