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SLAS Discov. 2020 Mar 19:2472555220909726. doi: 10.1177/2472555220909726. [Epub ahead of print]

Combined siRNA and Small-Molecule Phenotypic Screening Identifies Targets Regulating Rhinovirus Replication in Primary Human Bronchial Epithelial Cells.

Author information

1
Discovery Sciences, Research and Early Development, R&D BioPharmaceuticals, AstraZeneca, Gothenburg, Sweden.
2
Medicinal Chemistry, Research and Early Development, Respiratory, Inflammation and Autoimmune (RIA), R&D BioPharmaceuticals, AstraZeneca, Gothenburg, Sweden.
3
Bioscience, Research and Early Development, Respiratory, Inflammation and Autoimmune (RIA), R&D BioPharmaceuticals, AstraZeneca, Gothenburg, Sweden.
4
Cenix Bioscience GmbH, Dresden, Germany.
5
Translational Science and Experimental Medicine, Research and Early Development, Respiratory, Inflammation and Autoimmune (RIA), R&D BioPharmaceuticals, AstraZeneca, Gaithersburg, MD, USA.

Abstract

Human rhinovirus (RV) is the most common cause of acute upper respiratory tract infections and has recently been shown to play a significant role in exacerbations of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). There is a significant unmet medical need for agents for the prevention and/or treatment of exacerbations triggered by human RV infection. Phenotypic drug discovery programs using different perturbation modalities, for example, siRNA, small-molecule compounds, and CRISPR, hold significant value for identifying novel drug targets. We have previously reported the identification of lanosterol synthase as a novel regulator of RV2 replication through a phenotypic screen of a library of siRNAs against druggable genes in normal human bronchial epithelial (NHBE) cells. Here, we describe a follow-up phenotypic screen of small-molecule compounds that are annotated to be pharmacological regulators of target genes that were identified to significantly affect RV2 replication in the siRNA primary screen of 10,500 druggable genes. Two hundred seventy small-molecule compounds selected for interacting with 122 target gene hits were screened in the primary RV2 assay in NHBE cells by quantifying viral replication via in situ hybridization followed by secondary quantitative PCR-based assays for RV2, RV14, and RV16. The described follow-up phenotypic screening allowed us to identify Fms-related tyrosine kinase 4 (FLT4) as a novel target regulating RV replication. We demonstrate that a combination of siRNA and small-molecule compound screening models is a useful phenotypic drug discovery approach for the identification of novel drug targets.

KEYWORDS:

COPD; FLT4; NHBE; phenotypic screen; rhinovirus

PMID:
32189556
DOI:
10.1177/2472555220909726

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