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Journal of biomolecular screening [journal]
- In Vitro Screening for Drug Repositioning. [REVIEW]
- J Biomol Screen 2014 Dec 19.
Drug repositioning or repurposing has received much coverage in the scientific literature in recent years and has been responsible for the generation of both new intellectual property and investigational new drug submissions. The literature indicates a significant trend toward the use of computational- or informatics-based methods for generating initial repositioning hypotheses, followed by focused assessment of biological activity in phenotypic assays. Another viable method for drug repositioning is in vitro screening of known drugs or drug-like molecules, initially in disease-relevant phenotypic assays, to identify and validate candidates for repositioning. This approach can use large compound libraries or can focus on subsets of known drugs or drug-like molecules. In this short review, we focus on ways to generate and validate repositioning candidates in disease-related in vitro and phenotypic assays, and we discuss specific examples of this approach as applied to a variety of disease areas. We propose that in vitro screens offer several advantages over biochemical or in vivo methods as a starting point for drug repositioning.
- CHO-S Antibody Titers >1 Gram/Liter Using Flow Electroporation-Mediated Transient Gene Expression followed by Rapid Migration to High-Yield Stable Cell Lines. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Biomol Screen 2014 Dec 17.
In recent years, researchers have turned to transient gene expression (TGE) as an alternative to CHO stable cell line generation for early-stage antibody development. Despite advances in transfection methods and culture optimization, the majority of CHO-based TGE systems produce insufficient antibody titers for extensive use within biotherapeutic development pipelines. Flow electroporation using the MaxCyte STX Scalable Transfection System is a highly efficient, scalable means of CHO-based TGE for gram-level production of antibodies without the need for specialized expression vectors or genetically engineered CHO cell lines. CHO cell flow electroporation is easily scaled from milligram to multigram quantities without protocol reoptimization while maintaining transfection performance and antibody productivity. In this article, data are presented that demonstrate the reproducibility, scalability, and antibody production capabilities of CHO-based TGE using the MaxCyte STX. Data show optimization of posttransfection parameters such as cell density, media composition, and feed strategy that result in secreted antibody titers >1 g/L and production of multiple grams of antibody within 2 weeks of a single CHO-S cell transfection. In addition, data are presented to demonstrate the application of scalable electroporation for the rapid generation of high-yield stable CHO cell lines to bridge the gap between early- and late-stage antibody development activities.
- Detection of Cell Aggregation and Altered Cell Viability by Automated Label-Free Video Microscopy: A Promising Alternative to Endpoint Viability Assays in High-Throughput Screening. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Biomol Screen 2014 Dec 17.
Automated phase-contrast video microscopy now makes it feasible to monitor a high-throughput (HT) screening experiment in a 384-well microtiter plate format by collecting one time-lapse video per well. Being a very cost-effective and label-free monitoring method, its potential as an alternative to cell viability assays was evaluated. Three simple morphology feature extraction and comparison algorithms were developed and implemented for analysis of differentially time-evolving morphologies (DTEMs) monitored in phase-contrast microscopy videos. The most promising layout, pixel histogram hierarchy comparison (PHHC), was able to detect several compounds that did not induce any significant change in cell viability, but made the cell population appear as spheroidal cell aggregates. According to recent reports, all these compounds seem to be involved in inhibition of platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR) signaling. Thus, automated quantification of DTEM (AQDTEM) holds strong promise as an alternative or complement to viability assays in HT in vitro screening of chemical compounds.
- Emergence of Chinese Drug Discovery Research: Impact of Hit and Lead Identification. [REVIEW]
- J Biomol Screen 2014 Dec 17.
The identification of hits and the generation of viable leads is an early and yet crucial step in drug discovery. In the West, the main players of drug discovery are pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, while in China, academic institutions remain central in the field of drug discovery. There has been a tremendous amount of investment from the public as well as private sectors to support infrastructure buildup and expertise consolidation relative to drug discovery and development in the past two decades. A large-scale compound library has been established in China, and a series of high-impact discoveries of lead compounds have been made by integrating information obtained from different technology-based strategies. Natural products are a major source in China's drug discovery efforts. Knowledge has been enhanced via disruptive breakthroughs such as the discovery of Boc5 as a nonpeptidic agonist of glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor (GLP-1R), one of the class B G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). Most of the original hit identification and lead generation were carried out by academic institutions, including universities and specialized research institutes. The Chinese pharmaceutical industry is gradually transforming itself from manufacturing low-end generics and active pharmaceutical ingredients to inventing new drugs.
- Using the BioAssay Ontology for Analyzing High-Throughput Screening Data. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Biomol Screen 2014 Dec 15.
High-throughput screening (HTS) is the main starting point for hit identification in drug discovery programs. This has led to a rapid increase of available screening data both within pharmaceutical companies and the public domain. We have used the BioAssay Ontology (BAO) 2.0 for assay annotation within AstraZeneca to enable comparison with external HTS methods. The annotated assays have been analyzed to identify technology gaps, evaluate new methods, verify active hits, and compare compound activity between in-house and PubChem assays. As an example, the binding of a fluorescent ligand to formyl peptide receptor 1 (FPR1, involved in inflammation, for example) in an in-house HTS was measured by fluorescence intensity. In total, 155 active compounds were also tested in an external ligand binding flow cytometry assay, a method not used for in-house HTS detection. Twelve percent of the 155 compounds were found active in both assays. By the annotation of assay protocols using BAO terms, internal and external assays can easily be identified and method comparison facilitated. They can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of different assay methods, design appropriate confirmatory and counterassays, and analyze the activity of compounds for identification of technology artifacts.
- New Horizons in Therapeutic Antibody Discovery: Opportunities and Challenges versus Small-Molecule Therapeutics. [REVIEW]
- J Biomol Screen 2014 Dec 15.
Antibody drugs have become an increasingly significant component of the therapeutic landscape. Their success has been driven by some of their unique properties, in particular their very high specificity and selectivity, in contrast to the off-target liabilities of small molecules (SMs). Antibodies can bring additional functionality to the table with their ability to interact with the immune system, and this can be further manipulated with advances in antibody engineering. This review summarizes what antibody therapeutics have achieved to date and what opportunities and challenges lie ahead. The target landscape for large molecules (LMs) versus SMs and some of the challenges for antibody drug development are discussed. Effective penetration of membrane barriers and intracellular targeting is one challenge, particularly across the highly resistant blood-brain barrier. The expanding pipeline of antibody-drug conjugates offers the potential to combine SM and LM modalities in a variety of creative ways, and antibodies also offer exciting potential to build bi- and multispecific molecules. The ability to pursue more challenging targets can also be further exploited but highlights the need for earlier screening in functional cell-based assays. I discuss how this might be addressed given the practical constraints imposed by high-throughput screening sample type and process differences in antibody primary screening.
- Characterization of Bispecific T-cell Engager (BiTE®) Antibodies with a High-Capacity T-cell Dependent Cellular Cytotoxicity (TDCC) Assay. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Biomol Screen 2014 Dec 4.
The Bispecific T-cell Engager (BiTE®) antibody modality is a clinically validated immunotherapeutic approach for targeting tumors. Using T-cell dependent cellular cytotoxicity (TDCC) assays, we measure the percentage of specific cytotoxicity induced when a BiTE molecule engages T-cells, redirects T-cell mediated cytolysis, and ultimately kills target cells. We establish a novel luminescence-based TDCC assay quantified by measuring cell viability via constitutive expression of luciferase. The luciferase-based TDCC assay performance is valid and comparable to an adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-based detection method. We demonstrate that the luciferase-based TDCC assay is an efficient homogeneous assay format that is amenable to both suspension and adherent target cells. The luciferase-based TDCC assay eliminates the need for plate-washing protocols, allowing for higher-throughput screening of BiTE antibodies and better data quality. Assay capacity is also improved by performing serial dilutions of BiTE antibodies in 384-well format with an automated liquid handler. We describe here a robust, homogeneous TDCC assay platform with capacity for in vitro assessment of BiTE antibody potency and efficacy using multiple tumor cell lines and T-cell donors.
- Small Molecule, NSC95397, Inhibits the CtBP1-Protein Partner Interaction and CtBP1-Mediated Transcriptional Repression. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Biomol Screen 2014 Dec 4.
Carboxyl-terminal binding protein (CtBP) is a transcriptional corepressor that suppresses multiple proapoptotic and epithelial genes. CtBP is overexpressed in many human cancers, and its overexpression increases stem cell-like features, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, and cancer cell survival. Knockdown of CtBP also increases apoptosis independent of p53 in cell culture. Therefore, targeting CtBP with small molecules that disrupt its interaction with transcription factor partners may be an effective cancer therapy. To elicit its corepressing effect, CtBP binds to a conserved peptide motif in each transcription factor partner. We developed an AlphaScreen high-throughput screening assay to monitor the interaction between CtBP and E1A (which mimics the interaction between CtBP and its transcriptional partners). We screened the LOPAC library of 1280 bioactive compounds and identified NSC95397, which inhibits the CtBP-E1A interaction (IC50 = 2.9 µM). The inhibitory activity of NSC95397 was confirmed using two secondary assays and a counterscreen. NSC95397 also behaved as a weak substrate of CtBP dehydrogenase activity and did not inhibit another dehydrogenase, lactase dehydrogenase. Finally, NSC95397 was able to disrupt CtBP-mediated transcriptional repression of a target gene. These studies present a new possibility for the development of a therapeutic agent targeting tumors through disrupting the CtBP transcriptional complex.
- Discovery of Functional Antibodies Targeting Ion Channels. [REVIEW]
- J Biomol Screen 2014 Dec 3.
Ion channels play critical roles in physiology and disease by modulation of cellular functions such as electrical excitability, secretion, cell migration, and gene transcription. Ion channels represent an important target class for drug discovery that has been largely addressed, to date, using small-molecule approaches. A significant opportunity exists to target these channels with antibodies and alternative formats of biologics. Antibodies display high specificity and affinity for their target antigen, and they have the potential to target ion channels very selectively. Nevertheless, isolating antibodies to this target class is challenging due to the difficulties in expression and purification of ion channels in a format suitable for antibody drug discovery in addition to the complexity of screening for function. In this article, we will review the current state of ion channel biologics discovery and the progress that has been made. We will also highlight the challenges in isolating functional antibodies to these targets and how these challenges may be addressed. Finally, we also illustrate successful approaches to isolating functional monoclonal antibodies targeting ion channels by way of a number of case studies drawn from recent publications.
- High-Throughput Kinetic Screening of Hybridomas to Identify High-Affinity Antibodies Using Bio-Layer Interferometry. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Biomol Screen 2014 Nov 25.
Kinetic analysis of antibodies is crucial in both clone selection and characterization. Historically, antibodies in supernatants from hybridomas are selected based on a solid-phase enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in which the antigen is immobilized on the assay plate. ELISA selects clones based on a combination of antibody concentration in the supernatant and affinity. The antibody concentration in the supernatant can vary significantly and is typically unknown. Using the ELISA method, clones that express high levels of a low-affinity antibody can give an equivalent signal as clones that express low levels of a high-affinity antibody. As a consequence, using the ELISA method, superior clones can be overshadowed by inferior clones. In this study, we have applied Bio-Layer Interferometry to screen hybridoma clones based on disassociation rates using the OctetRED 384 platform. Using the OctetRED platform, we were able to screen 2000 clones within 24 hours and select clones containing high-affinity antibodies for further expansion and subsequent characterization. Using this method, we were able to identify several clones producing high-affinity antibodies that were missed by ELISA.