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Durham University

Department of Biosciences


Publication details for Professor Paul Denny

Denny, Paul W. (2018). Yeast: bridging the gap between phenotypic and biochemical assays for high-throughput screening. Expert Opinion on Drug Discovery 13(12): 1153-1160.

Author(s) from Durham


Introduction: Both in vitro biochemical and phenotypic assay platforms have clear limitations in high throughput screening (HTS) for drug discovery. The use of genetically tractable model yeast as a vehicle for target-based HTS overcomes many of these by allowing the identification of on-target compounds that function within a eukaryotic cellular context.

Areas covered: In this special report, the use of yeast-based assays in HTS is discussed with reference to the various platforms that have been utilized over the past 20 years. The specific issues considered are the necessity to employ counter and secondary screening approaches to ensure the on-target activity of hits, and the recent developments in detection systems that have facilitated miniaturization and ultra-HTS.

Expert opinion: It is difficult at present to predict the future. That being said, the demonstrable possibilities of optimizing yeast-based HTS, coupled with the demonstration of utility in an industrial setting, shows that these platforms have the potential to bridge the gap between phenotypic and biochemical assays for HTS.