Dr. Neeraj Patwardhan, Zhengguo (Alex) Cai, and Aline Umuhire Juru of the Hargrove lab have built a diverse compound library based on amiloride, a previously known RNA-targeted scaffold. They used a fluorescent indicator displacement assay to screen the library and quantified the binding profiles of the hit compounds. A cheminformatics study and quantitative modeling elucidated the key factors involved in small molecule recognition for different RNA targets, leading to the successful prediction of a test molecule and the rational design of a potential ligand. This work provides a new solution for exploring RNA-biased chemical space and paves the way towards rational design of RNA-targeted ligands. Learn more about this work in the most recent issue of Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry, available here.