Development of cell-based high-throughput assays for the identification of inhibitors of receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappa B signaling

Academic Article


  • Bone loss due to metabolic or hormonal disorders and osteolytic tumor metastasis continues to be a costly health problem, but current therapeutics offer only modest efficacy. Unraveling of the critical role for the receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappa B (RANK) and its ligand, RANK ligand (RANKL), in osteoclast biology provides an opportunity to develop more effective antiresorptive drugs. The in vivo effectiveness of RANKL inhibitors demonstrates the potency of the RANKL/RANK system as a drug target. Here, we report the development of cell-based assays for high-throughput screening to identify compounds that inhibit signaling from two RANK cytoplasmic motifs (PVQEET 559-564 and PVQEQG604-609), which play potent roles in osteoclast formation and function. Inhibitors of these motifs' signaling have the potential to be developed into new antiresorptive drugs that can complement current therapies. The cell-based assays consist of cell lines generated from RAW264.7 macrophages stably expressing a nuclear factor-kappa B-responsive luciferase reporter and a chimeric receptor containing the human Fas external domain linked to a murine RANK transmembrane and intracellular domain in which only one of the RANK motifs is functional. With these cells, specific RANK motif activation after chimeric receptor stimulation can be measured as an increase in luciferase activity. These assays demonstrated >300% increases in luciferase activity after RANK motif activation and Z′-factor values over 0.55. Our assays will be used to screen compound libraries for molecules that exhibit inhibitory activity. Follow-up assays will refine hits to a smaller group of more specific inhibitors of RANK signaling. © Copyright 2011, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2011.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Ashley JW; McCoy EM; Clements DA; Shi Z; Chen T; Feng X
  • Start Page

  • 40
  • End Page

  • 49
  • Volume

  • 9
  • Issue

  • 1