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01.12.2017 | Original research | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

EJNMMI Research 1/2017

New approaches for the reliable in vitro assessment of binding affinity based on high-resolution real-time data acquisition of radioligand-receptor binding kinetics

EJNMMI Research > Ausgabe 1/2017
Markus Zeilinger, Florian Pichler, Lukas Nics, Wolfgang Wadsak, Helmut Spreitzer, Marcus Hacker, Markus Mitterhauser



Resolving the kinetic mechanisms of biomolecular interactions have become increasingly important in early-phase drug development. Since traditional in vitro methods belong to dose-dependent assessments, binding kinetics is usually overlooked. The present study aimed at the establishment of two novel experimental approaches for the assessment of binding affinity of both, radiolabelled and non-labelled compounds targeting the A3R, based on high-resolution real-time data acquisition of radioligand-receptor binding kinetics. A novel time-resolved competition assay was developed and applied to determine the Ki of eight different A3R antagonists, using CHO-K1 cells stably expressing the hA3R. In addition, a new kinetic real-time cell-binding approach was established to quantify the rate constants k on and k off, as well as the dedicated K d of the A3R agonist [125I]-AB-MECA. Furthermore, lipophilicity measurements were conducted to control influences due to physicochemical properties of the used compounds.


Two novel real-time cell-binding approaches were successfully developed and established. Both experimental procedures were found to visualize the kinetic binding characteristics with high spatial and temporal resolution, resulting in reliable affinity values, which are in good agreement with values previously reported with traditional methods. Taking into account the lipophilicity of the A3R antagonists, no influences on the experimental performance and the resulting affinity were investigated.


Both kinetic binding approaches comprise tracer administration and subsequent binding to living cells, expressing the dedicated target protein. Therefore, the experiments resemble better the true in vivo physiological conditions and provide important markers of cellular feedback and biological response.
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