Introduction: In recent years, development of novel bioactive small molecules targeting autophagy has been implicated for autophagy-related disease treatment. Screening new small molecules regulating autophagy allows for the discovery of novel autophagy machinery and therapeutic agents. Areas covered: Two major screening methods for novel autophagy modulators are introduced in this review, namely target based screening and phenotype based screening. With increasing attention focused on chemical compound libraries, coupled with the development of new assay systems, this review attempts to provide an efficient strategy to explore autophagy biology and discover small molecules for the treatment of autophagy-related diseases. Expert opinion: Adopting an appropriate autophagy screening strategy is important for developing small molecules capable of treating neurodegenerative diseases and cancers. Phenotype based screening and target based screening were both used for developing effective small molecules. However, each of these methods has many pros and cons. An efficient approach is suggested to screen for novel lead compounds targeting autophagy, which could provide new hits with better efficiency and rapidity.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Drug Discovery