Duplex high-throughput flow cytometry screen identifies two novel formylpeptide receptor family probes.
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Of recent, clinical interest have been two related human G-protein coupled receptors: formylpeptide receptor (FPR), linked to antibacterial inflammation and malignant glioma cell metastasis; and FPR like-1 (FPRL1), linked to chronic inflammation in systemic amyloidosis, Alzheimer's disease, and prion diseases. In association with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Molecular Library Screening Network, we implemented a flow-cytometry-based high-throughput screening (HTS) approach for identifying selective small molecule FPR and FPRL1 ligands. The screening assay measured the ability of test compounds to competitively displace a high-affinity, fluorescein- labeled peptide ligand from FPR, FPRL1, or both. U937 cells expressing FPR and rat basophil leukemia (RBL) cells expressing FPRL1 were tested together in a "duplex" format. The U937 cells were color coded with red-fluorescent dye allowing their distinction during analysis. Compounds, cells, and fluorescent ligand were sequentially combined (no wash) in 15 microl assay volumes in 384-well plates. Throughput averaged approximately 11 min per plate to analyze approximately 4,000 cells ( approximately 2,000/receptor) in a 2 microl aspirate from each well. In primary single concentration HTS of 24,304 NIH Small Molecule Repository compounds, 253 resulted in inhibition >30% (181 for FPR, 72 for FPRL1) of which 40 had selective binding inhibition constants (K(i)) < or = 4 microM (34 for FPR and 6 for FPRL1). An additional 1,446 candidate compounds were selected by structure-activity-relationship analysis of the hits and screened to identify novel ligands for FPR (3570-0208, K(i) = 95 +/- 10 nM) and FPRL1 (BB-V-115, K(i) = 270 +/- 51 nM). Each was a selective antagonist in calcium response assays and the most potent small molecule antagonist reported for its respective receptor to date. The duplex assay format reduced assay time, minimized reagent requirements, and provided selectivity information at every screening stage, thus proving to be an efficient means to screen for selective receptor ligand probes.2008 International Society for Advancement of Cytometry.