High-Throughput Screening for Protein Synthesis Inhibitors Targeting Aminoacyl-tRNA Synthetases

Jiwon Kong, Pengfei Fang, Franck Madoux, Timothy P. Spicer, Louis Scampavia, Sunghoon Kim, Min Guo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Aminoacylation has been implicated in a wide variety of cancers. Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (ARSs) exist in large excess in tumor cells due to their increased demand for translation, whereas most other protein-synthesis apparatuses are quantitatively limited. Among other components that constitute the translation machinery—namely, tRNA, amino acid, ATP, and ARS—ARS is the only target that can be blocked by small molecules. No constitutively active ARSs have been reported, and mutations of ARS can cause inaccurate substrate recognition and malformation of the multi-ARS complex (MSC). Hence, interference of the activity is expected to be independent of genotype without developing resistance. Here, we report a high-throughput screening (HTS) system to find mammalian ARS inhibitors. The rabbit–reticulocyte lysate we used closely resembles both the individual and complexed structures of human ARSs, and it may predispose active compounds that are readily applicable for humankind. This assay was further validated because it identified familiar translational inhibitors from a pilot screen, such as emetine, proving its suitability for our purpose. The assay demonstrated excellent quality control (QC) parameters and reproducibility, and is proven ready for further HTS campaigns with large chemical libraries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-182
Number of pages9
JournalSLAS Discovery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Feb 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, © 2017 Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine


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