Gap junctions (GJs) are cell membrane channels that allow diffusion of molecules smaller than 1 kDa between adjacent cells. As they have physiological and pathological roles, there is need of high-throughput screening (HTS) assays to identify GJ modulators in drug discovery and toxicology assays. A novel iodide-yellow fluorescent protein-gap junction-intercellular communication (I-YFP-GJIC) assay fulfills this need. It is a cell-based assay including acceptor and donor cells that are engineered to stably express a yellow fluorescent protein (YFP) variant, whose fluorescence is sensitively quenched by iodide, or SLC26A4, an iodide transporter, respectively. When iodide is added to a mixed culture of the two cell types, they enter the donor cells via the SLC26A4 transporter and diffuse to the adjacent acceptor cells via GJs where they quench the YFP fluorescence. YFP fluorescence is measured well by well in a kinetic mode. The YFP quenching rate reflects GJ activity. The assay is reliable and rapid enough to be used for HTS. The protocol for the I-YFP-GJIC assay using the LN215 cells, human glioma cells, is described.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (2011-0023701, 2016R1D1A1A02937397, and 2018R1A6A1A03023718).
© 2019 Journal of Visualized Experiments.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Chemical Engineering(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)