Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry

A new sensitive and quantitative chemiluminescent assay to monitor intracellular xanthine oxidase activity for rapid screening of inhibitors in living endothelial cells.

PMID 27392750


Xanthine oxidase (XO) is an important enzyme, expressed at high levels in the vasculature in endothelial cells, that catalyzes the hydroxylation of hypoxanthine to xanthine and xanthine to uric acid. Excessive production of uric acid results in hyperuricemia linked to gout and cardiovascular diseases. Testing inhibition of XO is important for detection of potentially effective drugs or natural products that could be used to treat diseases caused by increased XO activity. In the present study, for the first time, we developed an in vitro chemiluminescent bioassay to determine XO activity in living endothelial cells and the IC50 value of oxypurinol, the active metabolite of the inhibitor drug allopurinol. Intracellular XO activity was measured in less than 20xa0min with a luminol/catalyst-based chemiluminescence assay able to measure XO with a limit of 0.4xa0μU/mL. Oxypurinol addition to 5 × 10(3) cells (ranging from 5.0 to 0.0xa0μM) caused a linear decrease in XO activity, with an IC50 of 1.0 ± 0.5xa0μM. The detection system developed was low-cost, rapid, reproducible, and easily miniaturizable so suitable to be used on small quantities of cells.