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Anal Chem. 2007 Dec 15;79(24):9398-402. Epub 2007 Nov 13.

Screening for ligands of human retinoid X receptor-alpha using ultrafiltration mass spectrometry.

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Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, University of Illinois College of Pharmacy, 833 South Wood Street, Chicago, Illinois 60612, USA.


Retinoid X receptors (RXRs) function as ligand-activated transcription factors and are obligatory components of a large number of nuclear receptor heterodimers. RXRs help regulate diverse physiological responses including the cancer prevention responses of cell proliferation, inflammation, cell differentiation, and apoptosis. Since RXRs represent important targets for cancer chemoprevention, an ultrafiltration mass spectrometry-based assay was developed to facilitate the discovery of potential chemoprevention agents that bind to human RXRalpha. Natural and synthetic ligands for RXRalpha including 9-cis-retinoic acid, docosahexaenoic acid, and LG100268 could be detected and identified in DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide) or even complex matrixes such as extracts of marine bacteria. Specific binding of ligands to RXRalpha was demonstrated through competitive binding using ultrafiltration LC-MS/MS (liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry), and ligands could be ranked in order of affinity for RXRalpha. Therefore, ultrafiltration LC-MS/MS is suitable for the screening of complex mixtures such as natural product extracts for the discovery of new ligands to RXRalpha.

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