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J Biomol Screen. 2010 Dec;15(10):1281-6. doi: 10.1177/1087057110379768. Epub 2010 Sep 16.

Thermally denatured BSA, a surrogate additive to replace BSA in buffers for high-throughput screening.

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Biological Reagents and Assay Development Department, GlaxoSmithKline, Madrid, Spain.


The use of thermally denatured bovine serum albumin (tdBSA) as an additive in high-throughput screening (HTS) buffers has been studied with the aim of finding a surrogate to native albumin devoid of its inconveniences, in particular its compound masking effect. The presence of aggregates in the thermally denatured material did not have any negative impact on common readout technologies used in HTS such as fluorescence intensity (FLINT), fluorescence polarization, time-resolved fluorescence resonance energy transfer (TR-FRET) and luminescence. tdBSA rendered the same beneficial effects as native albumin in several assays or even improved its performance due to the lack of specific binding properties. Although tdBSA still binds compounds nonspecifically as any other protein does, it mitigates the compound masking effect observed with native albumin and can be postulated as a convenient surrogate to BSA for HTS purposes.

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