Compound Management for Quantitative High-Throughput Screening

JALA Charlottesv Va. 2008 Apr;13(2):79-89. doi: 10.1016/j.jala.2007.12.004.


An efficient and versatile Compound Management operation is essential for the success of all downstream processes in high-throughput screening (HTS) and small molecule lead development. Staff, equipment, and processes need to be not only reliable, but remain flexible and prepared to incorporate paradigm changes. In the present report, we describe a system and associated processes which enable handling of compounds for both screening and follow-up purposes at the NIH Chemical Genomics Center (NCGC), a recently-established HTS and probe development center within the Molecular Libraries Initiative of the NIH Roadmap. Our screening process, termed quantitative HTS (qHTS), involves assaying the complete compound library, currently containing >200,000 members, at a series of dilutions to construct a full concentration-response profile. As such, Compound Management at the NCGC has been uniquely tasked to prepare, store, register, and track a vertically-developed plate dilution series (i.e., inter-plate titrations) in the 384-well format. These are compressed into a series of 1,536-well plates and are registered to track all subsequent plate storage. Here, we present details on the selection of equipment to enable automated, reliable and parallel compound manipulation in 384- and 1,536-well formats, protocols for preparation of inter-plate dilution series for qHTS, as well as qHTS-specific processes and issues.