Program Snapshot

Image of two proteins bound to drugs. A third panel shows an overlay of both protein structures. This is to show how the IDG program can use information from previous studies to better our understanding of understudied protein functionCDK6 is a protein known to be involved in cancer and has a drug to help treat this disease. CDK16 is a protein that is understudied and has been linked to cancer. The IDG program is generating resources to learn more about understudied proteins.

The goal of the Illuminating the Druggable Genome (IDG) program is to identify and provide information on proteins that are currently not well studied within commonly drug-targeted protein families. It has been estimated that as many as 3,000 genes encoding proteins can have their activity modified by pharmaceuticals; however, only 5-10 percent of what is considered “druggable” is currently targeted by FDA approved drugs, reflecting opportunities for further research. The IDG program has developed a website, called Pharos, that integrates information about understudied proteins so that researchers everywhere can easily access it, catalyzing their own research and helping them find new proteins that may be of interest. In addition, IDG supported researchers developed technologies and resources to enable the study of understudied druggable proteins in a high throughput manner.

During 2017, IDG was approved for a second stage of funding, called the Implementation Phase. During the Implementation Phase, IDG will continue to expand the informatics tools developed in a Pilot Phase, elucidate the function of understudied proteins from three key druggable protein families (GPCRs, ion channels, and kinases), and disseminate the IDG-generated resources to the greater scientific community.

This page last reviewed on January 10, 2020