Biochimica et biophysica acta

Label-free detection of small-molecule binding to a GPCR in the membrane environment.

PMID 25882196


Evaluation of drug-target interaction kinetics is becoming increasingly important during the drug-discovery process to investigate selectivity of a drug and predict in vivo target occupancy. To date, it remains challenging to obtain kinetic information for interactions between G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and small-molecule ligands in a label-free manner. Often GPCRs need to be solubilized or even stabilized by mutations which can be difficult and is time consuming. In addition, it is often unclear if the native conformation of the receptors is sustained. In this study, surface plasmon resonance (SPR) and surface acoustic wave (SAW) technologies have been used to detect ligand binding to the GPCR chemokine (C-X-C motif) receptor 4 (CXCR4) expressed in lipoparticles. We first evaluated different strategies to immobilize CXCR4-expressing lipoparticles. The highest small-molecule binding signal in SPR and SAW was achieved with a matrix-free carboxymethylated sensor chip coated with wheat germ agglutinin for lipoparticle capturing. Next, the binding kinetics of the anti-CXCR4 antibody 12G5 raised against a conformational epitope (k(on)=1.83×10(6)M(-1)s(-1), k(off)=2.79×10(-4) s(-1)) and the small molecule AMD3100 (k(on)=5.46×10(5)M(-1)s(-1), k(off)=1.01×10(-2)s(-1)) were assessed by SAW. Our kinetic and affinity data are consistent with previously published radioligand-binding experiments using cells and label-free experiments with solubilized CXCR4. This is the first study demonstrating label-free kinetic characterization of small-molecule binding to a GPCR in the membrane environment. The presented method holds the potential to greatly facilitate label-free assay development for GPRCs that can be expressed at high levels in lipoparticles.

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Undecylamine, ≥98.0% (GC)