With the possibility of generating millions of biologically active compounds from information arising from modeling protein structure, genetic sequence data or combinatorial chemistry strategies, how does one rapidly and thoroughly screen the activities, whether good or bad, of these compounds? One approach, developed by Xenometrix (Boulder, Colo.), is to engineer cells with a series of promoters and response elements regulating a reporter gene, chloroamphenicol acetyl transferase (CAT), which become activated or inhibited in the presence of functional compounds. Xenometrix's CAT-Tox (L) human liver cell assay becomes a unique method to evaluate them mechanistic actions of any compound by determining and quantitating an agent's activity on each promoter and response element. The effect potentiated by a compound is easily evaluated by measuring the accumulation of CAT protein by ELISA assay. Information derived from these assays becomes an indicator of activity, genotoxicity or cellular stress on the cell.

Xenometrix - The CAT...

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