High-throughput quantification of ochronotic pigment formation in Escherichia coli to evaluate the potency of human 4-hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase inhibitors in multi-well format

Jessie Neuckermans, Sien Lequeue, Alan Mertens, Steven Branson, Ulrich Schwaneberg, Joery De Kock

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4-hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase (HPD) is a key enzyme in the catabolism of tyrosine and therefore of great importance as a drug target to treat tyrosine-related inherited metabolic disorders (TIMD). Inhibition of this enzyme is therapeutically applied to prevent accumulation of toxic metabolites in TIMD patients. Nowadays an ex-herbicide, nitisinone, is used for this purpose and many more inhibitors are being explored and need to be tested. Here, we describe a colorimetric bacterial whole-cell screening system that allows quantifying the inhibitory effects of new human HPD inhibitors in a high-throughput and robust fashion. For this high-throughput screening (HTS) system we rely on the capability of recombinant E. coli that express human HPD, to generate a brown ochronotic pigment after the addition of tyrosine, whereafter this brown pigment can be quantified in a very specific and sensitive way by spectrophotometric analysis. Altogether, this robust and simple HTS screening system can be described as non-harmful, non-laborious and cost-effective with the aim to identify and evaluate novel therapeutic human HPD inhibitors for the treatment of TIMD.•This robust high-throughput screening system enables rapid identification and evaluation of potential inhibitors of human 4-hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase.•Simple and fast colorimetric quantification of the formation of ochronotic pigment.

Originele taal-2English
Artikelnummer101181
Aantal pagina's11
TijdschriftMethodsX
Volume8
DOI's
StatusPublished - jan 2021

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© 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.

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