Binding events of ligands to receptors are the key for an understanding of biological processes. Gaining insight into protein–protein and protein–ligand interactions in solution has recently become possible on an atomic level by new NMR spectroscopic techniques. These experiments identify binding events either by looking at the resonance signals of the ligand or the protein. Ideally, both techniques together deliver a complete picture of ligand binding to a receptor. The approaches discussed in this review allow screening of compound libraries as well as a detailed identification of the groups involved in the binding events. Also, characterization of the binding strength and kinetics is possible, competitive binding as well as allosteric effects can be identified, and it has even been possible to identify ligand binding to intact viruses and membrane-bound proteins.
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