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J Biomol Screen. 2012 Sep;17(8):1041-9. doi: 10.1177/1087057112452318. Epub 2012 Jul 5.

Kinetic considerations on the development of binding assays in single-addition mode: application to the search for α2δ1 modulators.

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


The development of assays in single-addition mode is of great interest for screening purposes given the multiple advantages of minimizing the number of intervention steps. Binding assays seem to be more prone to this attractive format because no functional biological activity is taking place but instead a biophysical process, whose dynamics seem easier to control without introducing significant alterations, is happening. Therefore, single-addition assays based on the displacement of prebound labeled ligands can be conceived, but careful kinetic considerations must still be taken to maximize the sensitivity of the assay and to avoid jeopardizing the identification of compounds with slow-binding kinetics. This article shows the development of a single-addition, displacement-based binding assay intended to identify modulators that act by binding to the gabapentin site of the ion channel regulatory protein α2δ1. After studying the kinetics of gabapentin binding and the influence they might have on the assay sensitivity, the best conditions were identified, and the sensitivity was compared with that of the more classical two-additions competition-based assay. Although the present study focuses on α2δ1 and its interaction with gabapentin, the rationale and the methodology followed are of broad purpose and can be applied to virtually every binding assay.

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