The inhibition of protein-protein interactions remains a challenge for traditional small molecule drug discovery. Here we describe the use of DNA-encoded library technology for the discovery of small molecules that are potent inhibitors of the interaction betweenlymphocyte function-associated antigen 1 and its ligand intercellular adhesion molecule 1. A DNA-encoded library with a potential complexity of 4.1 billion compounds was exposed to the I-domain of the target protein and the bound ligands were affinity selected, yielding an enriched small-molecule hit family. Compounds representing this family were synthesized without their DNA encoding moiety and found to inhibit the lymphocyte function-associated antigen 1/intercellular adhesion molecule-1 interaction with submicromolar potency in both ELISA and cell adhesion assays. Re-synthesized compounds conjugated to DNA or a fluorophore were demonstrated to bind to cells expressing the target protein.
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