Journal of biomolecular screening [journal]
- Cellular Phenotypic Analysis of Macrophage Activation Unveils Kinetic Responses of Agents Targeting Phosphorylation. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Biomol Screen 2016 Aug 23.
Macrophages are highly plastic cells, which serve as sentinels of the host immune system due to their ability to recognize and respond to microbial products rapidly and dynamically. Appropriate regulation of macrophage activation is essential for pathogen clearance or preventing autoimmune diseases. However, regularly used endpoint assays for analyzing macrophage functions have the limitations of being static and non-high throughput. In this study, we introduced a real-time and convenient method based on changes in cellular impedance that are detected by microelectronic biosensors. This new method can record the time/dose-dependent cell response profiles (TCRPs) of macrophages in real time and generates physiologically relevant data. The TCRPs generated from classically interferon-γ/lipopolysaccharide-activated macrophages showed considerable consistency with the data generated from standard endpoint assays. We further explored this approach by using it for global screening of a library of protein tyrosine kinase/phosphatase (PTK/PTP) inhibitors to investigate their impact on macrophage activation. Collectively, our findings suggest that the cellular impedance-based assay provides a promising approach for dynamically monitoring macrophage functions in a convenient and high-throughput manner.
- Identification and Validation of Gene Expression Pattern and Signature in Patients with Immune Thrombocytopenia. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Biomol Screen 2016 Aug 23.
In the present study, we sought to define genes associated with immune thrombocytopenia (ITP). Microarray analysis revealed that of 1002 genes associated with ITP, 309 genes had downregulated expression and 693 genes had upregulated expression in patients with ITP. Gene set enrichment analysis revealed that 11 pathways were positively correlated to ITP, such as type I diabetes mellitus, intestinal immune network for IgA production, and oxidative phosphorylation. The messenger RNA expression levels of the indicated genes, including HLA-DRB5, IGHV3-66, IFI27, FAM212A, PLD5, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interferon-γ, interleukin (IL)-1β, and IL-4, were significantly increased in patients with ITP compared with healthy humans, while MMP8, SLC1A3, CRISP3, THBS1, FMN1, and IL-10 were decreased. In conclusion, the gene expression profile of patients with ITP has established a foundation to study the gene mechanism of ITP progression.
- Development of a High-Throughput Gene Expression Screen for Modulators of RAS-MAPK Signaling in a Mutant RAS Cellular Context. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Biomol Screen 2016 Jul 26.
The RAS-MAPK pathway controls many cellular programs, including cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. In colorectal cancers, recurrent mutations in this pathway often lead to increased cell signaling that may contribute to the development of neoplasms, thereby making this pathway attractive for therapeutic intervention. To this end, we developed a 26-member gene signature of RAS-MAPK pathway activity utilizing the Affymetrix QuantiGene Plex 2.0 reagent system and performed both primary and confirmatory gene expression-based high-throughput screens (GE-HTSs) using KRAS mutant colon cancer cells (SW837) and leveraging a highly annotated chemical library. The screen achieved a hit rate of 1.4% and was able to enrich for hit compounds that target RAS-MAPK pathway members such as MEK and EGFR. Sensitivity and selectivity performance measurements were 0.84 and 1.00, respectively, indicating high true-positive and true-negative rates. Active compounds from the primary screen were confirmed in a dose-response GE-HTS assay, a GE-HTS assay using 14 additional cancer cell lines, and an in vitro colony formation assay. Altogether, our data suggest that this GE-HTS assay will be useful for larger unbiased chemical screens to identify novel compounds and mechanisms that may modulate the RAS-MAPK pathway.
- Rethinking Nuclear Receptors as Potential Therapeutic Targets for Retinal Diseases. [REVIEW, JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Biomol Screen 2016 Jul 25.
Collectively, retinal diseases, including age-related macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, and diabetic retinopathy, result in severe vision impairment worldwide. The absence and/or limited availability of successful drug therapies for these blinding disorders necessitates further understanding their pathobiology and identifying new targetable signaling pathways. Nuclear receptors are transcription regulators of many key aspects of human physiology, as well as pathophysiology, with reported roles in development, aging, and disease. Some of the pathways regulated by nuclear receptors include, but are not limited to, angiogenesis, inflammation, and lipid metabolic dysregulation, mechanisms also important in the initiation and development of several retinal diseases. Herein, we present an overview of the biology of three diseases affecting the posterior eye, summarize a growing body of evidence that suggests direct or indirect involvement of nuclear receptors in disease progression, and discuss the therapeutic potential of targeting nuclear receptors for treatment.
- Combining Unique Multiplex Gateway Cloning and Bimolecular Fluorescence Complementation (BiFC) for High-Throughput Screening of Protein-Protein Interactions. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Biomol Screen 2016 Jul 25.
Protein interaction networks are the basis for human metabolic and signaling systems. Interaction studies often use bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) to reveal the formation and cellular localization of protein complexes. However, large-scale studies were either far from native conditions in human cells or limited by laborious restriction/ligation cloning techniques. Here, we describe a new tool for protein interaction screening based on Gateway-compatible BiFC vectors. We made a set of four new vectors that permit fusion of candidate proteins to the N or C fragment of Venus in all fusion positions. We have validated the vectors and confirmed self-association of AHCY, AHCYL1, and galectin-3. In a high-throughput BiFC screen, we identified new AHCY interaction partners: galectin-3 and PUS7L. We also describe additional steps in protein interaction analysis, applied for AHCY-galectin-3 interaction. First, we classified the interaction in intracellular vesicles using CellCognition, machine learning free software. Then we identified the vesicles as endosomal pathway compartments, in line with known galectin-3 trafficking route. This offers a platform to rapidly identify and localize new protein interactions inside living cells, a prerequisite to validate in silico interactome data, and ultimately decode complex protein networks.
- Erratum. [Journal Article]
- J Biomol Screen 2016 Aug; 21(7):766.
The guest editors of the June 2016 special issue of the Journal of Biomolecular Screening (Vol. 21, No. 5) (JBS) on "Innovative Screening Methodologies to Identify New Compounds for the Treatment of Central Nervous System Disorders" were not acknowledged in the final published issue. JBS gratefully thanks Drs. Kevin Burris and Steven Dworetzky for their valued contributions and apologizes for the oversight. (Original DOI: 10.1177/1087057116644231). Please visit the table of contents for this special issue at http://jbx.sagepub.com/content/21/5.toc.
- Development of a 3D Tissue Culture-Based High-Content Screening Platform That Uses Phenotypic Profiling to Discriminate Selective Inhibitors of Receptor Tyrosine Kinases. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Biomol Screen 2016 Jul 7.
3D tissue cultures provide a more physiologically relevant context for the screening of compounds, compared with 2D cell cultures. Cells cultured in 3D hydrogels also show complex phenotypes, increasing the scope for phenotypic profiling. Here we describe a high-content screening platform that uses invasive human prostate cancer cells cultured in 3D in standard 384-well assay plates to study the activity of potential therapeutic small molecules and antibody biologics. Image analysis tools were developed to process 3D image data to measure over 800 phenotypic parameters. Multiparametric analysis was used to evaluate the effect of compounds on tissue morphology. We applied this screening platform to measure the activity and selectivity of inhibitors of the c-Met and epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinases in 3D cultured prostate carcinoma cells. c-Met and EGFR activity was quantified based on the phenotypic profiles induced by their respective ligands, hepatocyte growth factor and EGF. The screening method was applied to a novel collection of 80 putative inhibitors of c-Met and EGFR. Compounds were identified that induced phenotypic profiles indicative of selective inhibition of c-Met, EGFR, or bispecific inhibition of both targets. In conclusion, we describe a fully scalable high-content screening platform that uses phenotypic profiling to discriminate selective and nonselective (off-target) inhibitors in a physiologically relevant 3D cell culture setting.
- In Vitro Assays for the Discovery of PCSK9 Autoprocessing Inhibitors. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Biomol Screen 2016 Jul 7.
PCSK9 plays a significant role in regulating low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels and has become an important drug target for treating hypercholesterolemia. Although a member of the serine protease family, PCSK9 only catalyzes a single reaction, the autocleavage of its prodomain. The maturation of the proprotein is an essential prerequisite for the secretion of PCSK9 to the extracellular space where it binds the LDL receptor and targets it for degradation. We have found that a construct of proPCSK9 where the C-terminal domain has been truncated has sufficient stability to be expressed and purified from Escherichia coli for the in vitro study of autoprocessing. Using automated Western analysis, we demonstrate that autoprocessing exhibits the anticipated first-order kinetics. A high-throughput time-resolved fluorescence resonance energy transfer assay for autocleavage has been developed using a PCSK9 monoclonal antibody that is sensitive to the conformational changes that occur upon maturation of the proprotein. Kinetic theory has been developed that describes the behavior of both reversible and irreversible inhibitors of autocleavage. The analysis of an irreversible lactone inhibitor validates the expected relationship between potency and the reaction end point. An orthogonal liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry assay has also been implemented for the confirmation of hits from the antibody-based assays.
- Identification of Positive Allosteric Modulators of Glycine Receptors from a High-Throughput Screen Using a Fluorescent Membrane Potential Assay. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Biomol Screen 2016 Jul 7.
Glycine receptor 3 (GlyRα3) is a ligand-gated ion channel of the cys-loop family that plays a key role in mediating inhibitory neurotransmission and regulation of pain signaling in the dorsal horn. Potentiation of GlyRα3 function is therefore of interest as a putative analgesic mechanism with which to target new therapeutics. However, to date, positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) of this receptor with sufficient selectivity to enable target validation studies have not been described. To address this lack of pharmacological tools, we developed a suite of in vitro assays comprising a high-throughput fluorescent membrane potential screen and a medium-throughput electrophysiology assay using IonFlux HT together with conventional manual patch clamp. Using these assays, we conducted a primary screening campaign and report the structures of hit compounds identified as GlyR PAMs. Our functional characterization data reveal a hit compound with high efficacy relative to current known potentiators and selectivity over GABAAR, another major class of inhibitory neurotransmission receptors of importance to pain. These small-molecule GlyR PAMs have high potential both as early tool compounds to enable pharmacological studies of GlyR inhibitory neurotransmission and as a starting point for the development of potent, selective GlyRα3 PAMs as novel analgesics.
- Virtual Screening of DrugBank Reveals Two Drugs as New BCRP Inhibitors. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Biomol Screen 2016 Jul 8.
The breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP) is an ABC transporter playing a crucial role in the pharmacokinetics of drugs. The early identification of substrates and inhibitors of this efflux transporter can help to prevent or foresee drug-drug interactions. In this work, we built a ligand-based in silico classification model to predict the inhibitory potential of drugs toward BCRP. The model was applied as a virtual screening technique to identify potential inhibitors among the small-molecules subset of DrugBank. Ten compounds were selected and tested for their capacity to inhibit mitoxantrone efflux in BCRP-expressing PLB985 cells. Results identified cisapride (IC50 = 0.4 µM) and roflumilast (IC50 = 0.9 µM) as two new BCRP inhibitors. The in silico strategy proved useful to prefilter potential drug-drug interaction perpetrators among a database of small molecules and can reduce the amount of compounds to test.