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J Biomol Screen. 2013 Feb;18(2):160-71. doi: 10.1177/1087057112459271. Epub 2012 Sep 13.

High-throughput fragment screening by affinity LC-MS.

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1
Linnaeus University, Kalmar, Sweden.

Abstract

Fragment screening, an emerging approach for hit finding in drug discovery, has recently been proven effective by its first approved drug, vemurafenib, for cancer treatment. Techniques such as nuclear magnetic resonance, surface plasmon resonance, and isothemal titration calorimetry, with their own pros and cons, have been employed for screening fragment libraries. As an alternative approach, screening based on high-performance liquid chromatography separation has been developed. In this work, we present weak affinity LC/MS as a method to screen fragments under high-throughput conditions. Affinity-based capillary columns with immobilized thrombin were used to screen a collection of 590 compounds from a fragment library. The collection was divided into 11 mixtures (each containing 35 to 65 fragments) and screened by MS detection. The primary screening was performed in <4 h (corresponding to >3500 fragments per day). Thirty hits were defined, which subsequently entered a secondary screening using an active site-blocked thrombin column for confirmation of specificity. One hit showed selective binding to thrombin with an estimated dissociation constant (K (D)) in the 0.1 mM range. This study shows that affinity LC/MS is characterized by high throughput, ease of operation, and low consumption of target and fragments, and therefore it promises to be a valuable method for fragment screening.

PMID:
22983162
DOI:
10.1177/1087057112459271
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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