PloS one

Label free fragment screening using surface plasmon resonance as a tool for fragment finding - analyzing parkin, a difficult CNS target.

PMID 23861750


Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) is rarely used as a primary High-throughput Screening (HTS) tool in fragment-based approaches. With SPR instruments becoming increasingly high-throughput it is now possible to use SPR as a primary tool for fragment finding. SPR becomes, therefore, a valuable tool in the screening of difficult targets such as the ubiquitin E3 ligase Parkin. As a prerequisite for the screen, a large number of SPR tests were performed to characterize and validate the active form of Parkin. A set of compounds was designed and used to define optimal SPR assay conditions for this fragment screen. Using these conditions, more than 5000 pre-selected fragments from our in-house library were screened for binding to Parkin. Additionally, all fragments were simultaneously screened for binding to two off target proteins to exclude promiscuous binding compounds. A low hit rate was observed that is in line with hit rates usually obtained by other HTS screening assays. All hits were further tested in dose responses on the target protein by SPR for confirmation before channeling the hits into Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) and other hit-confirmation assays.