Ser-Xian Phua, Kwok-Fong Chan, Chinh Tran-To Su, Jun-Jie Poh, Samuel Ken-En Gan; Perspective: The promises of a holistic view of proteins—impact on antibody engineering and drug discovery. Biosci Rep 31 January 2019; 39 (1): BSR20181958. doi: https://doi.org/10.1042/BSR20181958
The reductionist approach is prevalent in biomedical science. However, increasing evidence now shows that biological systems cannot be simply considered as the sum of its parts. With experimental, technological, and computational advances, we can now do more than view parts in isolation, thus we propose that an increasing holistic view (where a protein is investigated as much as a whole as possible) is now timely. To further advocate this, we review and discuss several studies and applications involving allostery, where distant protein regions can cross-talk to influence functionality. Therefore, we believe that an increasing big picture approach holds great promise, particularly in the areas of antibody engineering and drug discovery in rational drug design.