Homogeneous Screening Assay for Human Tankyrase
Tankyrase, a member of human PARP protein superfamily, catalyzes a covalent post-translational modification of substrate proteins. This modification, poly(ADP-ribos)ylation, leads to changes in protein interactions and modifies downstream signaling events. Tankyrase 1 is a potential drug target due to its functions in telomere homeostasis and in Wnt signaling. We describe here optimization and application of an activity-based homogenous assay for tankyrase inhibitors in a high-throughput screening format. The method measures the consumption of substrate by the chemical conversion of the remaining NAD+ into a stable fluorescent condensation product. Conditions were optimized to measure the enzymatic auto-modification of a recombinant catalytic fragment of tankyrase 1. The fluorescence assay is inexpensive, operationally easy and performs well according to the statistical analysis (Z'= 0.7). A validatory screen with a natural product library confirmed suitability of the assay for finding new tankyrase inhibitors. Flavone was the most potent (IC50)=325 nM) hit from the natural compounds. A flavone derivative, apigenin, and isopropyl gallate showed potency on the micromolar range, but displayed over 30-fold selectivity for tankyrase over the studied isoenzymes PARP1 and PARP2. The assay is robust and will be useful for screening new tankyrase inhibitors.