In this article, a single-label separation-free fluorescence technique is presented as a potential screening method for cell-based receptor antagonists and agonists.The time-resolved fluorescence technique, quenching resonance energy transfer (QRET), relies on a single-labeled binding partner in combination with a soluble quencher. The quencher efficiently suppresses the luminescence of the unbound labeled ligand, whereas the luminescence of the bound fraction is not affected. This approach allows the development of cell-based screening assays in a simple and cost-effective manner. The authors have applied the technique to the screening of β2-adrenoreceptor (β2AR) antagonists and agonists in intact human embryonic kidney HEK293i cells overexpressing human β2-adrenergic receptors. Two antagonists (propranolol, alprenolol) and 2 agonists (metaproterenol, terbutaline) for β2AR were investigated in a displacement assay using europium(III)-labeled pindolol ligand. The assay Z′ values ranged from 0.68 to 0.78, the coefficient of variation was less than 10%, and the Ki values were 19 nM for propranolol and alprenolol and 14 and 5.9 µM for metaproterenol and terbutaline, respectively. The QRET technique with β2AR was also applied to LOPAC compound library screening, yielding nearly error-free recognition of known binders. This simple and cost-effective technique can be readily adapted to laboratory and industrial-scale screening.
Härmä, H., Rozwandowicz-Jansen, A., Martikkala, E., Frang, H., Hemmilä, I., Sahlberg, N., Fey, V., Perälä, M., & Hänninen, P. (2009). A New Simple Cell-Based Homogeneous Time-Resolved Fluorescence QRET Technique for Receptor-Ligand Interaction Screening. Journal of Biomolecular Screening, 14(8), 936-943. https://doi.org/10.1177/1087057109341657