A Saccharomyces cerevisiae cell‐based quantitative β‐galactosidase assay compatible with robotic handling and high‐throughput screening

Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PT, UK.
Yeast (Impact Factor: 1.63). 01/2008; 25(1):71-6. DOI: 10.1002/yea.1570
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Reporter-gene assays that employ the Escherichia coli lacZ gene are ubiquitously employed in biological research. However, we were not able to readily identify a quantitative method that worked reliably with yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) cells and that was compatible with high-throughput screening and robotic liquid handling tools. We have therefore adapted a commercially available assay employing a 6-O-beta-galactopyranosyl-luciferin substrate to provide the required sensitivity with minimal sample handling times. Our assay uses only one-tenth of the reagents suggested by the reagent manufacturer (Promega) for equivalent assays with mammalian cell cultures and produces rapid, sensitive and reproducible analysis with as little as 1 microl yeast cell culture and with < 100 cells. We demonstrate that the assay is compatible with yeast strains generated by the systematic yeast deletion project and functions equally well with genomically integrated or plasmid-encoded lacZ reporters and with cells grown in complex or defined media. The high-sensitivity, miniaturized format reduced sample handling required will make this assay useful for a wide range of applications.

Download full-text


Available from: Graham D Pavitt, Nov 20, 2014
18 Reads
  • Source
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Eukaryotic initiation factor 2 (eIF2) B is a guanine nucleotide exchange factor that plays a central role in translation initiation and its control, especially in response to diverse cellular stresses. In addition, inherited mutations in human eIF2B subunits cause a fatal brain disorder commonly called childhood ataxia with central nervous system hypomyelination or leukoencephalopathy with vanishing white matter. In yeast, inhibiting activity of eIF2B up-regulates expression of the transcriptional activator general control nondepressible (GCN) 4. We report here evaluation of high-throughput screening (HTS) using a yeast-based reporter gene assay, in which strains containing either wild-type or a mutant eIF2B were screened in parallel to identify compounds modifying eIF2B-dependent responses. The goals of the HTS were twofold: first, to discover compounds that restore normal function to mutant eIF2B, which may have therapeutic utility for the fatal human disease; and second, to identify compounds that activate a GCN4 response, which might be useful experimental tools. The HTS assay measured cell growth by absorbance, and activation of gene expression via a beta-galactosidase reporter gene fusion. Because mutant eIF2B activates GCN4 in the absence of stress inducers, the mutant strain was screened for reduction in GCN4 activation. HTS revealed apparent mutant-selective inhibitors but did not reliably predict selectivity as these hits affected both wild-type and mutant strains equally on dose-response confirmation. Wild-type strain results from the HTS identified two GCN4 response activators, both of which were confirmed to be wild-type selective in dose-response testing, suggesting that these compounds may activate GCN4 by a mechanism that down-regulates eIF2B activity.
    Assay and Drug Development Technologies 09/2009; 7(5):479-94. DOI:10.1089/adt.2009.0198 · 1.53 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Enzymatic substrates are powerful tools in biochemistry. They are widely used in microbiology to study metabolic pathways, to monitor metabolism and to detect, enumerate and identify microorganisms. Synthetic enzymatic substrates have been customized for various microbial assays, to detect an expanding range of both new enzymatic activities and target microorganisms. Recent developments in synthetic enzymatic substrates with new spectral, chemical and biochemical properties allow improved detection, enumeration and identification of food-borne microorganisms, clinical pathogens and multi-resistant bacteria in various sample types. In the past 20 years, the range of synthetic enzymatic substrates used in microbiology has been markedly extended supporting the development of new multi-test systems (e.g., Microscan, Vitek 2, Phoenix) and chromogenic culture media. The use of such substrates enables an improvement in time to detection and specificity over conventional tests that employ natural substrates. In the era of intense developments in molecular biology, phenotypic tests involving enzymatic substrates remain useful to analyse both simple and complex samples. Such tests are applicable to diagnostic and research laboratories all over the world.
    Journal of microbiological methods 09/2009; 79(2):139-55. DOI:10.1016/j.mimet.2009.08.001 · 2.03 Impact Factor
Show more