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Journal of biomolecular screening [journal]
- Fragment-Based Screening in Tandem with Phenotypic Screening Provides Novel Antiparasitic Hits. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Biomol Screen 2014 Sep 17.
Methods to discover biologically active small molecules include target-based and phenotypic screening approaches. One of the main difficulties in drug discovery is elucidating and exploiting the relationship between drug activity at the protein target and disease modification, a phenotypic endpoint. Fragment-based drug discovery is a target-based approach that typically involves the screening of a relatively small number of fragment-like (molecular weight <300) molecules that efficiently cover chemical space. Here, we report a fragment screening on TbrPDEB1, an essential cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase (PDE) from Trypanosoma brucei, and human PDE4D, an off-target, in a workflow in which fragment hits and a series of close analogs are subsequently screened for antiparasitic activity in a phenotypic panel. The phenotypic panel contained T. brucei, Trypanosoma cruzi, Leishmania infantum, and Plasmodium falciparum, the causative agents of human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), Chagas disease, leishmaniasis, and malaria, respectively, as well as MRC-5 human lung cells. This hybrid screening workflow has resulted in the discovery of various benzhydryl ethers with antiprotozoal activity and low toxicity, representing interesting starting points for further antiparasitic optimization.
- Improving Detection of Rare Biological Events in High-Throughput Screens. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Biomol Screen 2014 Sep 4.
The success of high-throughput screening (HTS) strategies depends on the effectiveness of both normalization methods and study design. We report comparisons among normalization methods in two titration series experiments. We also extend the results in a third experiment with two differently designed but otherwise identical screens: compounds in replicate plates were either placed in the same well locations or were randomly assigned to different locations. Best results were obtained when randomization was combined with normalization methods that corrected for within-plate spatial bias. We conclude that potent, reliable, and accurate HTS requires replication, randomization design strategies, and more extensive normalization than is typically done and that formal statistical testing is desirable. The Statistics and dIagnostic Graphs for HTS (SIGHTS) Microsoft Excel Add-In software is available to conduct most analyses reported here.
- Progesterone Receptor Chaperone Complex-Based High-Throughput Screening Assay: Identification of Capsaicin as an Inhibitor of the Hsp90 Machine. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Biomol Screen 2014 Sep 2.
Hsp90 and its co-chaperones are known to be important for cancer cell survival. The N-terminal inhibitors of Hsp90 that are in ongoing clinical trials as antitumor agents have unfortunately shown disappointing efficacies in the clinic. Thus, novel inhibitors of the Hsp90 machine with a different mechanism of action are urgently needed. We report here the development of a novel high-throughput screening assay platform to identify small-molecule inhibitors of Hsp90 and its co-chaperones. This assay quantitatively measures the ability of Hsp90 and its co-chaperones to refold/protect the progesterone receptor, a physiological client of Hsp90, in a 96-well plate format. We screened the National Institutes of Health clinical collection drug library and identified capsaicin as a hit molecule. Capsaicin is a Food and Drug Administration-approved drug for topical use in pain management. Cell survival assays showed that capsaicin selectively kills cancer cells and destabilizes several Hsp90 client proteins. Thus, our data may explain the seemingly pleotropic effect of capsaicin.
- Diagnosis of Parasitic Infections: What's Going On? [REVIEW]
- J Biomol Screen 2014 Aug 28.
Methods for the diagnosis of parasitic infections have stagnated in the past three decades. Labor-intensive methods such as microscopy still remain the mainstay of several diagnostic laboratories. There is a need for more rapid tests that do not sacrifice sensitivity and that can be used in both clinical settings as well as in poor resource field settings. The fields of diagnostic medical parasitology, treatment, and vaccines are undergoing dramatic change. In recent years, there has been tremendous effort to focus research on the development of newer diagnostic methods focusing on serological, molecular, and proteomic approaches. This article examines the various diagnostic tools that are being used in clinical laboratories, optimized in reference laboratories, and employed in mass screening programs.
- Pilot-Scale Compound Screening against RNA Editing Identifies Trypanocidal Agents. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Biomol Screen 2014 Aug 28.
Most mitochondrial messenger RNAs in trypanosomatid pathogens undergo a unique type of posttranscriptional modification involving insertion and/or deletion of uridylates. This process, RNA editing, is catalyzed by a multiprotein complex (~1.6 MDa), the editosome. Knockdown of core editosome proteins compromises mitochondrial function and, ultimately, parasite viability. Hence, because the editosome is restricted to trypanosomatids, it serves as a unique drug target in these pathogens. Currently, there is a lack of editosome inhibitors for antitrypanosomatid drug development or that could serve as unique tools for perturbing and characterizing editosome interactions or RNA editing reaction stages. Here, we screened a library of pharmacologically active compounds (LOPAC1280) using high-throughput screening to identify RNA editing inhibitors. We report that aurintricarboxylic acid, mitoxantrone, PPNDS, and NF449 are potent inhibitors of deletion RNA editing (IC50 range, 1-5 µM). However, none of these compounds could specifically inhibit the catalytic steps of RNA editing. Mitoxantrone blocked editing by inducing RNA-protein aggregates, whereas the other three compounds interfered with editosome-RNA interactions to varying extents. Furthermore, NF449, a suramin analogue, was effective at killing Trypanosoma brucei in vitro. Thus, new tools for editosome characterization and downstream RNA editing inhibitor have been identified.
- Identification of Potent Inhibitors of the Trypanosoma brucei Methionyl-tRNA Synthetase via High-Throughput Orthogonal Screening. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Biomol Screen 2014 Aug 27.
Improved therapies for the treatment of Trypanosoma brucei, the etiological agent of the neglected tropical disease human African trypanosomiasis, are urgently needed. We targeted T. brucei methionyl-tRNA synthetase (MetRS), an aminoacyl-tRNA synthase (aaRS), which is considered an important drug target due to its role in protein synthesis, cell survival, and its significant differences in structure from its mammalian ortholog. Previous work using RNA interference of MetRS demonstrated growth inhibition of T. brucei, further validating it as an attractive target. We report the development and implementation of two orthogonal high-throughput screening assays to identify inhibitors of T. brucei MetRS. First, a chemiluminescence assay was implemented in a 1536-well plate format and used to monitor adenosine triphosphate depletion during the aminoacylation reaction. Hit confirmation then used a counterscreen in which adenosine monophosphate production was assessed using fluorescence polarization technology. In addition, a miniaturized cell viability assay was used to triage cytotoxic compounds. Finally, lower throughput assays involving whole parasite growth inhibition of both human and parasite MetRS were used to analyze compound selectivity and efficacy. The outcome of this high-throughput screening campaign has led to the discovery of 19 potent and selective T. brucei MetRS inhibitors.
- Impact of RNA-Guided Technologies for Target Identification and Deconvolution. [REVIEW]
- J Biomol Screen 2014 Aug 27.
For well over a decade, RNA interference (RNAi) has provided a powerful tool for investigators to query specific gene targets in an easily modulated loss-of-function setting, both in vitro and in vivo. Hundreds of publications have demonstrated the utility of RNAi in arrayed and pooled-based formats, in a wide variety of cell-based systems, including clonal, stem, transformed, and primary cells. Over the years, there have been significant improvements in the design of target-specific small-interfering RNA (siRNA) and short-hairpin RNA (shRNA), expression vectors, methods for mitigating off-target effects, and accurately interpreting screening results. Recent developments in RNAi technology include the Sensor assay, high-efficiency miR-E shRNAs, improved shRNA virus production with Pasha (DRGC8) knockdown, and assessment of RNAi off-target effects by using the C9-11 method. An exciting addition to the arsenal of RNA-mediated gene modulation is the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/Cas9 (CRISPR/Cas) system for genomic editing, allowing for gene functional knockout rather than knockdown.
- AlphaScreen HTS and Live-Cell Bioluminescence Resonance Energy Transfer (BRET) Assays for Identification of Tau-Fyn SH3 Interaction Inhibitors for Alzheimer Disease. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Biomol Screen 2014 Aug 25.
Alzheimer disease (AD) is the most common neurodegenerative disease, and with Americans' increasing longevity, it is becoming an epidemic. There are currently no effective treatments for this disorder. Abnormalities of Tau track more closely with cognitive decline than the most studied therapeutic target in AD, amyloid-β, but the optimal strategy for targeting Tau has not yet been identified. On the basis of considerable preclinical data from AD models, we hypothesize that interactions between Tau and the Src-family tyrosine kinase, Fyn, are pathogenic in AD. Genetically reducing either Tau or Fyn is protective in AD mouse models, and a dominant negative fragment of Tau that alters Fyn localization is also protective. Here, we describe a new AlphaScreen assay and a live-cell bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET) assay using a novel BRET pair for quantifying the Tau-Fyn interaction. We used these assays to map the binding site on Tau for Fyn to the fifth and sixth PXXP motifs to show that AD-associated phosphorylation at microtubule affinity regulating kinase sites increases the affinity of the Tau-Fyn interaction and to identify Tau-Fyn interaction inhibitors by high-throughput screening. This screen has identified a variety of chemically tractable hits, suggesting that the Tau-Fyn interaction may represent a good drug target for AD.
- Discovery of New Uncompetitive Inhibitors of Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Biomol Screen 2014 Aug 13.
The enzyme glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PDH) catalyzes the first step of the oxidative branch of the pentose phosphate pathway, which provides cells with NADPH, an essential cofactor for many biosynthetic pathways and antioxidizing enzymes. In Trypanosoma cruzi, the G6PDH has being pursued as a relevant target for the development of new drugs against Chagas disease. At present, the best characterized inhibitors of T. cruzi G6PDH are steroidal halogenated compounds derivatives from the mammalian hormone precursor dehydroepiandrosterone, which indeed are also good inhibitors of the human homologue enzyme. The lack of target selectivity might result in hemolytic side effects due to partial inhibition of human G6PDH in red blood cells. Moreover, the treatment of Chagas patients with steroidal drugs might also cause undesired androgenic side effects. Aiming to identify of new chemical classes of T. cruzi G6PDH inhibitors, we performed a target-based high-throughput screen campaign against a commercial library of diverse compounds. Novel TcG6PDH inhibitors were identified among thienopyrimidine and quinazolinone derivatives. Preliminary structure activity relationships for the identified hits are presented, including structural features that contribute for selectivity toward the parasite enzyme. Our results indicate that quinazolinones are promising hits that should be considered for further optimization.
- Yeast as a Potential Vehicle for Neglected Tropical Disease Drug Discovery. [REVIEW]
- J Biomol Screen 2014 Aug 13.
High-throughput screening (HTS) efforts for neglected tropical disease (NTD) drug discovery have recently received increased attention because several initiatives have begun to attempt to reduce the deficit in new and clinically acceptable therapies for this spectrum of infectious diseases. HTS primarily uses two basic approaches, cell-based and in vitro target-directed screening. Both of these approaches have problems; for example, cell-based screening does not reveal the target or targets that are hit, whereas in vitro methodologies lack a cellular context. Furthermore, both can be technically challenging, expensive, and difficult to miniaturize for ultra-HTS [(u)HTS]. The application of yeast-based systems may overcome some of these problems and offer a cost-effective platform for target-directed screening within a eukaryotic cell context. Here, we review the advantages and limitations of the technologies that may be used in yeast cell-based, target-directed screening protocols, and we discuss how these are beginning to be used in NTD drug discovery.