Dye Efflux Assays

Calcein Assay®

SOLVO's patented Calcein Assay® provides information on the interaction between MDR1/P-gp (ABCB1) or MRP1 (ABCC1) transporters and the test compound. Non-fluorescent, hydrophobic calcein AM dissolved in the lipid bilayer is pumped out of the cell by MDR1/P-gp (ABCB1) or MRP1 (ABCC1), thus keeping the intracellular concentration of calcein AM low. Modulators of the transporter activity reduce the rate of calcein AM efflux, leading to increased intracellular calcein AM, which is then hydrolyzed by intracellular esterases, making it fluorescent. Free calcein is hydrophilic and thus retained inside the cells. With no inhibitors, the rate of calcein accumulation (and fluorescence) is slow; however, the addition of inhibitors of the transporter results in a faster rate of calcein accumulation. By measuring the reporter compound in the presence of the test article (typically in 8 concentrations), negative control and positive control, IC50 can be obtained, defined as the concentration required to inhibit the transport of the reporter substrate by 50%.

Calcein Assay License

SOLVO's patented Calcein assay is an indirect inhibitory-type whole cell assay that provides information on any interaction between the ABC transporter and the test drug. The assay monitors the inhibition of the MDR1/P-gp (ABCB1) or MRP1 (ABCC1) mediated efflux of calcein AM by measuring the increased fluorescence of the calcein dye. Calcein assay is protected by US (US5.872.014, US6.277.655, US6.391.656) and international (e.g. EPO0784699) patents. Licenses for commercial entities for certain in-house uses are available. License package includes:

  • Non-exclusive license for the Calcein assay method for in-house use
  • Detailed assay protocol for 96-well plate
  • MS Excel file containing worksheets for calculations and data representation
  • MDR1 and MRP1 expressing cells frozen in 2 ml cryogenic vials + description of cell lines and protocol for subculturing
  • Free technical support via e-mail or phone
  • Personal technical support, training or consulting is also available at the customer’s expense

Different pricing schemes are available: up-front licensing fee until patent expiry or yearly subscription fees with a minimum purchase of 2 years; worldwide use or use in a limited geographical area.

Figure 1. Working principle of the Calcein assay

Figure 2. Inhibition of Calcein AM efflux from K563-MDR cells by different concentrations of test drugs

Hoechst Assay

Hoechst Assay is also a whole-cell based dye transport assay that addresses BCRP membrane transporter in a similar fashion to Calcein Assay. A similar dye transport-based assay, utilizing Hoechst 33342 has been worked out to measure the activity of BCRP (ABCG2/MXR). Hoechst 33342 is a non-fluorescent substrate of both MDR1 and BCRP, and the dye becomes fluorescent after entering the cell and binding to DNA.