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The emergence and spread of multidrug-resistant Plasmodium falciparum and recent detection of potential artemisinin-resistant strains in Southeast Asia highlight the importance of developing novel antimalarial therapies. Using a previously generated stable transgenic P. falciparum line with high-level firefly luciferase expression, we report the adaptation, miniaturization, optimization, and validation of a high-throughput screening assay in 384-well plates. Assay conditions, including the percentage of parasitemia and hematocrit, were optimized. Parameters of assay robustness, including Z'-value, coefficient variation (CV), and signal-to-background (S/B) ratio, were determined. The LOPAC(1280) small-compound library was used to validate this assay. Our results demonstrated that this assay is robust and reliable, with an average Z'-value of >0.7 and CV of <10%. Moreover, this assay showed a very low background, with the S/B ratio up to 71. Further, identified hits were selected and confirmed using a SYBR Green I-based confirmatory assay. It is evident that this assay is suitable for large-scale screening of chemical libraries for antimalarial drug discovery.

Citation

Pulin Che, Long Cui, Olaf Kutsch, Liwang Cui, Qianjun Li. Validating a firefly luciferase-based high-throughput screening assay for antimalarial drug discovery. Assay and drug development technologies. 2012 Feb;10(1):61-8

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PMID: 22050430

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