High-throughput screening has enabled the identification of small molecule modulators of important drug targets via well-established colorimetric or fluorimetric activity assays. However, existing methods to identify small molecule binders of nonenzymatic protein targets lack either the simplicity (e.g., require labeling one of the binding partners with a reporter) or throughput inherent in enzymatic assays widely used for HTS. Thus, there is intense interest in the development of high-throughput technologies for label-free detection of protein-small molecule interactions. Here we describe a novel self-referencing external cavity laser (ECL) biosensor approach that achieves high resolution and high sensitivity, while eliminating thermal noise with subpicometer wavelength accuracy. Using the self-referencing ECL biosensor, we demonstrate detection of binding between small molecules and a variety of immobilized protein targets, pairs that have binding affinities or inhibition constants ranging from subnanomolar to low micromolar. Finally, a "needle-in-the-haystack" screen for inhibitors against carbonic anhydrase isozyme II is performed, in which known inhibitors are clearly differentiated from inactive molecules within a compound library.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry