Most approaches to monitoring interactions between biological macromolecules require large amounts of material, rely upon the covalent modification of an interaction partner, or are not amenable to real-time detection. We have developed a generalizable assay system based on interactions between proteins and reporter ribozymes, The assay can be configured in a modular fashion to monitor the presence and concentration of a protein or of molecules that modulate protein function. We report two applications of the assay: screening for a small molecule that disrupts protein binding to its nucleic acid target and screening for protein-protein interactions. We screened a structurally diverse library of antibiotics for small molecules that modulate the activity of HIV-1 Revresponsive ribozymes by binding to Rev. We identified an inhibitor that subsequently inhibited HIV-1 replication in cells. A simple format switch allowed reliable monitoring of domain-specific interactions between the blood-clotting factor thrombin and its protein partners. The rapid identification of interactions between proteins or of compounds that disrupt such interactions should have substantial utility for the drug-discovery process.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
- Molecular Medicine
- Biomedical Engineering