Target identification of natural and traditional medicines with quantitative chemical proteomics approaches

Jigang Wang, Liqian Gao, Yew Mun Lee, Karunakaran A. Kalesh, Yong Siang Ong, Jaehong Lim, Joo-Eun Jee, Hongyan Sun, Su Seong Lee, Zi-Chun Hua, Qingsong Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Natural and traditional medicines, being a great source of drugs and drug leads, have regained wide interests due to the limited success of high-throughput screening of compound libraries in the past few decades and the recent technology advancement. Many drugs/bioactive compounds exert their functions through interaction with their protein targets, with more and more drugs showing their ability to target multiple proteins, thus target identification has an important role in drug discovery and biomedical research fields. Identifying drug targets not only furthers the understanding of the mechanism of action (MOA) of a drug but also reveals its potential therapeutic applications and adverse side effects. Chemical proteomics makes use of affinity chromatography approaches coupled with mass spectrometry to systematically identify small molecule–protein interactions. Although traditional affinity-based chemical proteomics approaches have made great progress in the identification of cellular targets and elucidation of MOAs of many bioactive molecules, nonspecific binding remains a major issue which may reduce the accuracy of target identification and may hamper the drug development process. Recently, quantitative proteomics approaches, namely, metabolic labeling, chemical labeling, or label-free approaches, have been implemented in target identification to overcome such limitations. In this review, we will summarize and discuss the recent advances in the application of various quantitative chemical proteomics approaches for the identification of targets of natural and traditional medicines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-22
Number of pages13
JournalPharmacology & Therapeutics
Early online date22 Jan 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Target identification of natural and traditional medicines with quantitative chemical proteomics approaches'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this