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Tuesday 01 April 2003

High-content profiling of drug-drug interactions: cellular targets involved in the modulation of microtubule drug action by the antifungal ketoconazole.

By: Giuliano KA.

J Biomol Screen 2003 Apr;8(2):125-35

Drug-drug interactions play an important role in the discovery and development of therapeutic agents. High-content profiling was developed to unravel the complexity of these interactions by providing multiparameter measurements of target activity at the cellular and subcellular levels. Two microtubule drugs, vinblastine and curacin A, were shown to modulate multiple cellular processes, including nuclear condensation, the activation of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase pathway as measured by RSK90 phosphorylation, and the regulation of the microtubule cytoskeleton as measured in detergent-extracted cells. The heterogeneity of the response, addressed through population analysis and multiparameter comparisons within single cells, was consistent with vinblastine and curacin A having similar effects on nuclear morphology and 90 kDa ribosomal s6 kinase (RSK90) phosphorylation despite having distinct effects on the microtubule cytoskeleton. Ketoconazole, originally developed as an antifungal agent, exhibited concentration-dependent inhibitory and potentiating effects on both drugs in HeLa and PC-3 cells at concentration ranges near the plasma levels of ketoconazole attained in human subjects. Thus, high-content profiling was used to dissect the cellular and molecular responses to interacting drugs and is therefore a potentially important tool in the selection, characterization, and optimization of lead therapeutic compounds.

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