Cellbased Assays

Cell-based assays closely mimic the environment of a living cell and have been used for confirmation of leads coming from primary in vitro biochemical screens. Cell-based assays are used for targets where biochemical assays are not available.

Cell-based assays also give information about cellular interactions with the target and also shed light on the stability of compounds [41]. Traditionally, the cell-based assays have been low throughput or medium throughput due to the cumbersome steps involved. With the advances in molecular, assay, and instrumentation technologies, now homogeneous high-throughput cell-based assays are available for primary screening. Like biochemical assays, cell-based assays can be divided into heterogeneous and homogeneous assays (Fig. 5).

A. Heterogeneous Assays

The heterogeneous assays consist of radioactive and nonradioactive assays. Non-radioactive assays are mainly ELISA assays.

1. ELISA Assays

Cells are treated with compounds, and the cellular changes are assayed by ELISA assays. Cell-based assays for screening receptor-mediated changes in signal transduction like cAMP can be measured in the cell extracts by ELISA assays.

Figure 5 Cell-based assays. Cell-based assays are mainly dealt with as heterogeneous and homogeneous assays. Heterogeneous assays are divided into nonradioactive and radioactive assays. Homogeneous assays are further divided into microbe-based and mammalian cell-based assays.

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