A live-cell high-throughput screening assay for identification of fatty acid uptake inhibitors

Hong Li, Paul N. Black, Concetta C. Dirusso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


We developed a live-cell high-throughput assay system using the baker's yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae to screen for chemical compounds that will inhibit fatty acid uptake. The target for the inhibitors is a mammalian fatty acid transport protein (mmFATP2), which is involved in the fatty acid transport and activation pathway. The mmFATP2 was expressed in a S. cerevisiae mutant strain deficient in Fat1p-dependent fatty acid uptake and reduced in long-chain fatty acid activation, fat1Δfaa1Δ. To detect fatty acid import, a fluorescent fatty acid analog, 4,4-difluoro-5-methyl-4-bora-3a,4a-diaza-s- indacene-3-dodecanoic acid (C1-BODIPY-C12), was incubated with cells expressing FATP2 in a 96-well plate. The mmFATP2-dependent C 1-BODIPY-C12 uptake was monitored by measuring intracellular C1-BODIPY-C12 fluorescence on a microtiter plate reader, whereas extracellular fluorescence was quenched by a cell viability dye, trypan blue. Using this high-throughput screening method, we demonstrate that the uptake of the fluorescent fatty acid ligand was effectively competed by the natural fatty acid oleate. Inhibition of uptake was also demonstrated to occur when cells were pretreated with sodium azide or Triacsin C. This yeast live-cell-based assay is rapid to execute, inexpensive to implement, and has adequate sensitivity for high-throughput screening. The assay basis and limitations are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-19
Number of pages9
JournalAnalytical Biochemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Fatty acid transport
  • High-throughput screening
  • Lipotoxicity
  • Obesity
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  • Trypan blue

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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