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עמוד בית
Sun, 14.07.24


IMAJ | volume 24

Journal 12, December 2022
pages: 853-854

High-throughput analysis of CLIC5 interactants using a thermal-stability assay

1 Department of physiology and pharmacology, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel



The chloride intracellular channel (CLIC) protein family consists of six members in humans. CLICs are unique due to their metamorphic property, displaying both soluble and integral membrane forms. The transmembrane conformation was shown to give rise to ion-channel activity in vitro. In recent years, CLICs were implicated in a growing number of physiological processes in various organ systems and associated with distinct disease states. Indeed, the founding member of the family, CLIC5, was shown to be involved in hereditary deafness and various types of cancer. Nevertheless, the natural interactants and endogenous ligands of CLIC5 have not been discovered yet.


To find ligands that affect the biochemical properties and activity of CLIC5. We hypothesized that such ligands could serve as important tools for resolving the long-sought cellular roles of CLICs and may offer novel therapeutic avenues for CLIC-associated conditions.


Using molecular biology and biochemical methods, CLIC5 was overexpressed in Escherichia coli and purified. Next, a high-throughput differential scanning fluorimetry thermal shift assay (TSA) was established and the interaction of approximately 500 natural compounds was examined.


The TSA-based screening approach developed here allows to evaluate the effect of approximately 100 compounds in parallel within approximately 1 hour. Our proof-of-concept screening yielded 11 potential hits, significantly affecting the thermal stability of CLIC5. By examining the dose-dependence of this effect, we identified a specific interaction of CLIC5 with curcumin.


Using the approach we developed, large libraries of small molecules can be screened efficiently to identify novel CLIC5 interactants. Considering the participation of CLIC5 in various physiological and pathological processes, uncovering ligands that inhibit or activate CLIC5 may provide tools to modulate its activity and possibly to ameliorate CLIC5-related pathologies in the future.

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