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High throughput flow cytometry for small molecule screening

High throughput, multiplexed flow cytometry could provide a way to rapidly screen small molecules in immune cells. Samples of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were labeled with different combinations of 7 unique lanthanide isotopes and arrayed in a 96-well plate. Multiplexed flow cytometry was then used to measure the response of PBMC intracellular signaling to 27 kinase inhibitors under a variety of conditions. The method generated IC50 values and cellular phosphorylation levels associated with each inhibitor as well as intracellular signaling networks activated by the inhibitors. Next steps include using the method to screen for compounds that modulate epigenetic and metabolic pathways in cancer cells.
The method used in the paper is marketed by DVS Sciences Inc. under the name CyTOF.

SciBX 5(36); doi:10.1038/scibx.2012.968
Published online Sept. 13, 2012

Flow cytometry method covered by patents owned by DVS Sciences; licensing status undisclosed

Bodenmiller, B. et al. Nat. Biotechnol.; published online Aug. 19, 2012;
Contact: Gary P. Nolan, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, Calif.