Early drug discovery uses a wide variety of tests and assays in order to determine whether a new hit can continue to be developed and enter preclinical trials. The process of finding specific molecules means sifting through a vast ocean of possibilities and requires specific experiments like the Fluorescence Polarization (FP) assay.
The Fluorescence Polarization assay is well adapted to the fast pace and large-scale of early drug discovery. Finding its roots as a theory in the early 20th century, the assay has become very refined as it moved from a textbook description to practical application.
Finding the best way to scan hundreds, thousands, even millions of molecules and chemical compounds is a part of what makes the first steps of drug discovery so difficult and time consuming.
What is the Fluorescence Polarization Assay?
FP assays are now known to be useful in the study of molecules, proteins, antigens, antibodies, and hormone receptors. The experiment works by looking at interactions between specific molecules and observing differences in rotational diffusion in excited states. The results often reveal new information about how proteins or enzymes interact with each other, helping to define the fundamental concepts behind new medicine.
Fluorescence Polarization assays provide a way for scientists to research the important components of early drug discovery at a large scale.
The use of FP assays in pharmaceutical research has shown to be reliable and well adapted to the large scales needed for high-throughput screenings (HTS). As a quick way to conduct research on a diverse set of samples, Fluorescence Polarization has notably helped with research into smaller and smaller molecules and the complex interactions of receptor bindings.
Beyond the applications in early drug discovery, FP assays have also been shown to be useful for human patients. Being able to readily and reliably observe the molecular details of a new drug can help in both diagnosing medicine and monitoring treatments.
Overview of Fluorescence Polarization Assay Advantages
- Quantitative and reproducible data.
- Insights into smaller molecules and enzymes.
- Ease-of-use in early drug discovery.
- Long-term monitoring and diagnosis.
Fluorescence Polarization Assays using Zebrafish
Choosing the right animal model for Fluorescence Polarization assays is a key part of the drug discovery process. Traditional laboratory options like mice or rats tend to be at the top of most people’s minds, but there is a strong case to be made for alternative animal models like zebrafish as well.
As small vertebrates that share much of their disease gene DNA with humans, zebrafish are a reliable choice for many tests and assays used in biomedical research, including FP assays. Sharing an evolutionary history, insights into how new molecules affect the biological system of zebrafish can often be applicable to humans.
More than simply acting as a stand-in to approximate human genetics, zebrafish also comes with many other benefits for laboratory science. From quick generations that mature in under a week to transparent embryos and highly adaptable homeostasis standards, these alternative animal models are well adapted to preclinical research.
Benefits of Using Zebrafish in Fluorescence Polarization Assays
- Transparent embryos well suited for visual studies
- Living vertebrate alternative animal models
- Quick generations and large populations easily adapted to HTS
- Fully mapped genome with access to genetically modified variants
As an example of using zebrafish in FP assays, Nguyen Chi et al performed an experiment that relied on confocal microscopy to look into macrophage polarization. The team of scientists decided on zebrafish as their animal model, taking advantage of the fully mapped genome in order to source samples with the required fluorescent proteins.
Fluorescent Polarization assays using zebrafish allow for real-time monitoring and testing of small molecules.
The study revealed how specific cells become polarized, highlighting how the biological system works to heal inflammation issues. The similarities between zebrafish and other mammals like humans mean the FP assay using zebrafish is likely to be useful in biomedical research on inflammation and any possible treatments for future human patients.
Zebrafish Are an Alternative Animal Model for FP Assays
Over the last few decades, Fluorescence Polarization assays have found their way into biomedical research and early drug discovery. The fierce competition of the pharmaceutical industry always pushes scientists and researchers to find reliable ways to innovate and experiment with cutting-edge technology and techniques.
Using zebrafish in Fluorescent Polarization assays helps scientists and researchers build a better understanding of every enzyme, chemical bond, and molecular interaction.
The race to save lives with new medicines is often on full display in laboratories around the world. The various tests and assays used in biomedical research are careful to balance the practical needs of the market with the scientific standards required to ensure the safety, toxicity, and efficacy of new drugs.
The strict requirements used to determine the potential benefits of new hits rely on accurate and reproducible tests like the Fluorescent Polarization assay. The zebrafish alternative animal model can help in more time and cost-efficient drug discovery research.