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Targeting protein-protein interactions for therapeutic discovery via FRET-based high-throughput screening in living cells.


ABSTRACT: We have developed a structure-based high-throughput screening (HTS) method, using time-resolved fluorescence resonance energy transfer (TR-FRET) that is sensitive to protein-protein interactions in living cells. The membrane protein complex between the cardiac sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca-ATPase (SERCA2a) and phospholamban (PLB), its Ca-dependent regulator, is a validated therapeutic target for reversing cardiac contractile dysfunction caused by aberrant calcium handling. However, efforts to develop compounds with SERCA2a-PLB specificity have yet to yield an effective drug. We co-expressed GFP-SERCA2a (donor) in the endoplasmic reticulum membrane of HEK293 cells with RFP-PLB (acceptor), and measured FRET using a fluorescence lifetime microplate reader. We screened a small-molecule library and identified 21 compounds (Hits) that changed FRET by >3SD. 10 of these Hits reproducibly alter SERCA2a-PLB structure and function. One compound increases SERCA2a calcium affinity in cardiac membranes but not in skeletal, suggesting that the compound is acting specifically on the SERCA2a-PLB complex, as needed for a drug to mitigate deficient calcium transport in heart failure. The excellent assay quality and correlation between structural and functional assays validate this method for large-scale HTS campaigns. This approach offers a powerful pathway to drug discovery for a wide range of protein-protein interaction targets that were previously considered "undruggable".

SUBMITTER: Stroik DR 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6105598 | BioStudies | 2018-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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