Send to

Choose Destination
Assay Drug Dev Technol. 2004 Oct;2(5):515-24.

Automated higher-throughput compound screening on ion channel targets based on the Xenopus laevis oocyte expression system.

Author information

NMI Natural and Medical Sciences Institute at the University of Tübingen, 72770 Reutlingen, Germany.


As numerous diseases have been shown to be related to dysfunction of ion channels and neurotransmitter receptors and to affect regulatory pathways, ion channels have attracted increasing attention as a target class for drug discovery. The concomitant demand of the pharmaceutical industry for adequate electrophysiological methods to investigate drug effects on specific ion channels in secondary and safety screening has resulted in the development of electrophysiological instrumentation that allows automated monitoring of ion channel function with a higher throughput. Here we tested a fully automated screening system based on the Xenopus laevis oocyte expression system. We addressed the questions of data quality and reproducibility obtained by automated oocyte injection and two-electrode voltage-clamp (TEVC) recording using the Roboocyte (Multi Channel Systems GmbH, Reutlingen, Germany) technology compared to conventional oocyte recording. A gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)A-receptor subtype (alpha(1)beta(2)) was chosen as an example for a ligand-gated ion channel, and the slowly activating potassium current I(Ks) as a voltage-activated ion channel. Oocytes were injected with cDNA or cRNA via the Roboocyte injection stage. Ion channel currents were successfully recorded after 2-7 days in about 40% of the oocytes injected with GABA(A) receptor cDNA, and after 2-4 days in about 60% of the oocytes injected with KCNE1 cRNA. EC(50) values for the GABA(A) receptor and IC(50) values for blockers of I(Ks) were comparable to values obtained with conventional TEVC recording techniques. In conclusion, our results show that the Roboocyte is a valuable automated tool for oocyte injection and TEVC recording that can be used in drug screening and target validation to enhance the number of compounds and oocytes tested per day.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center