Native-compound-Coupled Affinity Matrix (NCAM) in target identification and validation of bioactive compounds: Application, mechanism and outlooks

Lu Ma, Menglong Li, Shanshan Gou, Wei Wang, Kangdong Liu, Yueteng Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In drug discovery and development, the direct target identification of bioactive small molecules plays a significant role for understanding the mechanism of action, predicting the side effects, and rationally designing more potent compounds. However, due to the complicated regulatory processes in a cell together with thousands of biomacromolecules, target identification is always the major obstacle. New methods and technologies are continuously invented to tackle this problem. Nevertheless, the mainly used tools possess several disadvantages. High synthetic skills are typically required to laboriously synthesize a probe for protein enrichment. To detect the ligand–protein interaction by analyzing proteins’ responses to proteolytic or thermal treatment, costly and precise instruments are always necessary. Therefore, convenient and practical techniques are urgently needed. Over the past decades, a strategy using native compounds without the requirement of chemical modification, also termed Native-compound-Coupled Affinity Matrix (NCAM), is developing continuously. Two practical tactics based on “label-free” compounds have been invented and used, that is Photo-cross-linked Small-molecule Affinity Matrix (PSAM) and Native-compound-Coupled CNBr-activated Beads (NCCB). Presently, we will elucidate the characteristics, coupling mechanism, advantages and disadvantages, and future prospect of NCAM in specific target identification and validation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106828
JournalBioorganic Chemistry
StatePublished - Nov 2023


  • Chemical proteomics
  • Mechanism of action
  • Native compounds
  • Pharmacology
  • Target validation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Organic Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Native-compound-Coupled Affinity Matrix (NCAM) in target identification and validation of bioactive compounds: Application, mechanism and outlooks'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this