Tuesday, October 1, 2013

New High-Throughput Screen for Hepatitis C inhibitors

Simplified diagram of the structure of Hepatitis C virus
by Graham Colm
RNA-dependent RNA polymerases (RdRp) play an essential role in replication of hepatitis C virus (HCV). As such it is a key target for novel antiviral therapies and inhibitors are in clinical trials for HCV genotype 1 (G1). However there are 6 distinct genotypes and the inhibitors for G1 exhibit a poor efficacy for non-G1 genotypes.

It was because of this scenario that a group from Australia sought to identify potential inhibitors for genotype 3a. The result of their work is described in the recent JBS article entitled: 'A Fluorescence-BasedHigh-Throughput Screen to Identify Small Compound Inhibitors of the Genotype 3aHepatitis C Virus RNA Polymerase’.

Their assay design was quite straight-forward in that they sought to assess RdRp activity by detecting synthesis of double-stranded RNA from a single-stranded template. To do this they took advantage of the fact that the commercially available fluorescent dye PicoGreen binds double stranded RNA preferentially over single-stranded RNA. Production of double-stranded RNA was quantified by measuring fluorescence intensity on a POLARstar Omega microplate reader from BMG LABTECH.

We at BMG LABTECH are happy that we can contribute in some small way to the assay development and performance of HTS necessary for drug discovery such as that described in this JBS article. Our new CLARIOstar provides even more flexibility when designing a FI based assay due to its Advanced Linear Variable Filter Monochromator. Furthermore, the PHERAstar FS continues to be an excellent choice for HTS. Whatever your microplate reader needs, BMG LABTECH has a product that will help you make the most of your application.