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High-Throughput Screening of One-Bead-One-Compound Libraries: Identification of Cyclic Peptidyl Inhibitors against Calcineurin/NFAT Interaction

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journal contribution
posted on 12.09.2011, 00:00 by Tao Liu, Ziqing Qian, Qing Xiao, Dehua Pei
One-bead-one-compound (OBOC) libraries provide a powerful tool for drug discovery as well as biomedical research. However, screening a large number of beads/compounds (>1 million) and rank ordering the initial hits (which are covalently attached to a solid support) according to their potencies still post significant technical challenges. In this work, we have integrated some of the latest technical advances from our own as well as other laboratories to develop a general methodology for rapidly screening large OBOC libraries. The methodology has been applied to synthesize and screen a cyclic peptide library that features: (1) spatially segregated beads containing cyclic peptides on the surface layer and linear encoding peptides in their interior; (2) rapid on-bead screening of the library (>1 million) by a multistage procedure (magnetic bead sorting, enzyme-linked assay, and fluorescence based screening); (3) selective release of cyclic peptides from single positive beads for solution-phase determination of their binding affinities; and (4) hit identification by partial Edman degradation/mass spectrometry (PED/MS). Screening of the library against protein phosphatase calcineurin (Cn) identified a series of cyclic peptides that bind to the substrate-docking site for nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) with KD values of ∼1 μM. Further improvement of the affinity and specificity of these compounds may lead to a new class of immunosuppressive agents that are more selective and therefore less toxic than cyclosporine A and FK506.