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      High throughput screening technologies for ion channels

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          Abstract

          Ion channels are involved in a variety of fundamental physiological processes, and their malfunction causes numerous human diseases. Therefore, ion channels represent a class of attractive drug targets and a class of important off-targets for in vitro pharmacological profiling. In the past decades, the rapid progress in developing functional assays and instrumentation has enabled high throughput screening (HTS) campaigns on an expanding list of channel types. Chronologically, HTS methods for ion channels include the ligand binding assay, flux-based assay, fluorescence-based assay, and automated electrophysiological assay. In this review we summarize the current HTS technologies for different ion channel classes and their applications.

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          Most cited references 77

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          New calcium indicators and buffers with high selectivity against magnesium and protons: design, synthesis, and properties of prototype structures.

          A new family of high-affinity buffers and optical indicators for Ca2+ is rationally designed and synthesized. The parent compound is 1,2-bis(o-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid (BAPTA), a relative of the well-known chelator EGTA [ethylene glycol bis(beta-aminoethyl ether)-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid] in which methylene links between oxygen and nitrogen are replaced by benzene rings. BAPTA and its derivatives share the high (greater than 10(5)) selectivity for Ca2+ over Mg2+ of EGTA but are very much less affected by pH changes and are faster at taking up and releasing Ca2+. The affinity of the parent compound for Ca2+ (dissociation constant 1.1 x 10(-7) M in 0.1 M KCl) may be strengthened or weakened by electron-releasing or -withdrawing substituents on the aromatic rings. The Ca2+ and Mg2+ affinities may further be altered by replacing the ether oxygens by heterocyclic nitrogen atoms. The compounds described are fluorescent Ca2+ indicators absorbing in the ultraviolet region; the very large spectral shifts observed on binding Ca2+ fit the prediction that complexation should hinder the conjugation of the nitrogen lone-pair electrons with the aromatic rings. Derivatives with quinoline nuclei are notable for their high sensitivity of fluorescent quantum yield to the binding of Ca2+ but not of Mg2+. Preliminary biological tests have so far revealed little or no binding to membranes or toxic effects following intracellular microinjection.
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            Chemical calcium indicators.

            Our understanding of the underlying mechanisms of Ca2+ signaling as well as our appreciation for its ubiquitous role in cellular processes has been rapidly advanced, in large part, due to the development of fluorescent Ca2+ indicators. In this chapter, we discuss some of the most common chemical Ca2+ indicators that are widely used for the investigation of intracellular Ca2+ signaling. Advantages, limitations and relevant procedures will be presented for each dye including their spectral qualities, dissociation constants, chemical forms, loading methods and equipment for optimal imaging. Chemical indicators now available allow for intracellular Ca2+ detection over a very large range ( 50 microM). High affinity indicators can be used to quantify Ca2+ levels in the cytosol while lower affinity indicators can be optimized for measuring Ca2+ in subcellular compartments with higher concentrations. Indicators can be classified into either single wavelength or ratiometric dyes. Both classes require specific lasers, filters, and/or detection methods that are dependent upon their spectral properties and both classes have advantages and limitations. Single wavelength indicators are generally very bright and optimal for Ca2+ detection when more than one fluorophore is being imaged. Ratiometric indicators can be calibrated very precisely and they minimize the most common problems associated with chemical Ca2+ indicators including uneven dye loading, leakage, photobleaching, and changes in cell volume. Recent technical advances that permit in vivo Ca2+ measurements will also be discussed.
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              TMEM16A inhibitors reveal TMEM16A as a minor component of calcium-activated chloride channel conductance in airway and intestinal epithelial cells.

              TMEM16A (ANO1) functions as a calcium-activated chloride channel (CaCC). We developed pharmacological tools to investigate the contribution of TMEM16A to CaCC conductance in human airway and intestinal epithelial cells. A screen of ∼110,000 compounds revealed four novel chemical classes of small molecule TMEM16A inhibitors that fully blocked TMEM16A chloride current with an IC(50) < 10 μM, without interfering with calcium signaling. Following structure-activity analysis, the most potent inhibitor, an aminophenylthiazole (T16A(inh)-A01), had an IC(50) of ∼1 μM. Two distinct types of inhibitors were identified. Some compounds, such as tannic acid and the arylaminothiophene CaCC(inh)-A01, fully inhibited CaCC current in human bronchial and intestinal cells. Other compounds, including T16A(inh)-A01 and digallic acid, inhibited total CaCC current in these cells poorly, but blocked mainly an initial, agonist-stimulated transient chloride current. TMEM16A RNAi knockdown also inhibited mainly the transient chloride current. In contrast to the airway and intestinal cells, all TMEM16A inhibitors fully blocked CaCC current in salivary gland cells. We conclude that TMEM16A carries nearly all CaCC current in salivary gland epithelium, but is a minor contributor to total CaCC current in airway and intestinal epithelia. The small molecule inhibitors identified here permit pharmacological dissection of TMEM16A/CaCC function and are potential development candidates for drug therapy of hypertension, pain, diarrhea, and excessive mucus production.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Acta Pharmacol Sin
                Acta Pharmacol. Sin
                Acta Pharmacologica Sinica
                Nature Publishing Group
                1671-4083
                1745-7254
                January 2016
                14 December 2015
                : 37
                : 1
                : 34-43
                Affiliations
                [1 ]State Key Laboratory of Bioactive Substances and Functions of Natural Medicines, Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College , Beijing 100050, China
                Author notes
                Article
                aps2015108
                10.1038/aps.2015.108
                4722985
                26657056
                Copyright © 2015 CPS and SIMM
                Categories
                Review

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