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Assay Drug Dev Technol. 2007 Jun;5(3):319-32.

Development and implementation of a 384-well homogeneous fluorescence intensity high-throughput screening assay to identify mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphatase-1 dual-specificity protein phosphatase inhibitors.

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Pittsburgh Molecular Libraries Screening Center, Department of Pharmacology, University of Pittsburgh Drug Discovery Institute, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA.


We report here the miniaturization, development, and implementation of a homogeneous 384-well fluorescence intensity high-throughput screening (HTS) assay for identifying mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) phosphatase-1 (MKP-1) dual-specificity phosphatase inhibitors. As part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Molecular Libraries Screening Center Network (MLSCN), the MKP-1 assay was utilized to screen an NIH diversity library of 65,239 compounds for inhibitors of MKP-1 activity at 10 microM and was also used to confirm the concentration dependence of active agents identified in the primary screen. We observed 100 (0.15%) compounds that inhibited MKP-1 in vitro by > or =50% at 10 microM in the primary assay, and 46 of the 100 compounds were confirmed as concentration-dependent inhibitors of MKP-1 with 50% inhibitory concentration (IC(50)) values of <50 microM; four exhibited IC(50) values <1.0 microM, six produced IC(50) values in the 1-10 microM range, and 36 produced IC(50) values in the 10-50 microM range. A clustering and classification analysis of the compound structures of the 46 confirmed MKP-1 inhibitors produced 29 singleton structures and seven clusters of related structures. Some MKP-1 inhibitors were members of structural classes or contained substructure pharmacophores that previously were reported to inhibit either MKP-1 or other protein tyrosine phosphatases, validating the HTS assay. Importantly, we have identified several attractive and novel MKP-1 inhibitor structures that warrant further investigation as potential probes to study the biology of MKP-1 and its role in controlling the amplitude and/or duration of MAPK signaling, cell survival, and tumor progression.

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