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Identification of novel Kv1.3 blockers using a fluorescent cell-based ion channel assay.

Mark Slack, Christian Kirchhoff, Clemens Möller, Dirk Winkler, Rainer Netzer

, 2006 Feb , 11, 57-64

A functional cell-based assay was developed using a generic proprietary assay protocol, based on a membrane-potential sensitive dye, for the identification of small-molecule antagonists against the Kv1.3 potassium ion channel. A high-throughput screen (HTS) was subsequently performed with 20,000 compounds from the Evotec library, preselected using known small molecule antagonists for both sodium and potassium ion channels. Following data analysis, the hit rate was measured at 1.72%, and subsequent dose-response analysis of selected hits showed a high hit confirmation rate yielding approximately 50 compounds with an apparent IC50 value lower than 10 microM. Subsequent electrophysiological characterization of selected hits confirmed the initial activity and potency of the identified hits on the Kv1.3 target and also selectivity toward Kv1.3 through measurements on HERG as well as Kv1.3-expressing cell lines. Follow-up structure-activity relationship analysis revealed a variety of different clusters distributed throughout the library as well as several singlicates. In comparison to known Kv1.3 blockers, new chemical entities and scaffolds showing potency and selectivity against the Kv1.3 ion channel were detected. In addition, a screening strategy for ion channel drug discovery HTS, medicinal chemistry, and electrophysiology is presented.