Advances in combinatorial chemistry and genomics have inspired the development of novel affinity selectionbased screening techniques that rely on mass spectrometry to identify compounds that preferentially bind to a protein target. Of the many affinity selection-mass spectrometry techniques so far documented, only a few solution-based implementations that separate target-ligand complexes away from unbound ligands persist today as routine high throughput screening platforms. Because affinity selection-mass spectrometry techniques do not rely on radioactive or fluorescent reporters or enzyme activities, they can complement traditional biochemical and cell-based screening assays and enable scientists to screen targets that may not be easily amenable to other methods. In addition, by employing mass spectrometry for ligand detection, these techniques enable high throughput screening of massive library collections of pooled compound mixtures, vastly increasing the chemical space that a target can encounter during screening. Of all drug targets, G protein coupled receptors yield the highest percentage of therapeutically effective drugs. In this manuscript, we present the emerging application of affinity selection-mass spectrometry to the high throughput screening of G protein coupled receptors. We also review how affinity selection-mass spectrometry can be used as an analytical tool to guide receptor purification, and further used after screening to characterize target-ligand binding interactions, enabling the classification of orthosteric and allosteric binders.
Keywords: high throughput screening, electrospray ionization MS, NGD-3350, AS-MS HTS detection, GPCR purification
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