Work Package 3: Bioassays

Screening and assay development will focus on areas of unmet medical need and in areas where natural product scaffolds are known to be successful.

The library of extracts from WP2 will be screened in high-throughput and high content bioassays in order to identify anti-inflammatory, anti-infective, and neuroactive hits (including in vitro toxicity assays).  

This will involve the biological assessment of extracts produced from WP2 against a broad range of validated assays and targets (e.g. cytokine, kinase, protein:protein, whole-cell, zebrafish) to provide a broad indication of potential functional health properties relevant to the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and cosmetic industries.

A carefully designed assay cascade including early counter-screening will increase the value of the hits. The assay cascade within each area will include a combination of well-established screens (TNFa) as well as proprietary assays (cell reporter Nrf2) and innovative high content assays (eg zebrafish assay). Hit extracts will be confirmed through doseresponse experiments and testing in complementary in vitro and zebrafish bioassays (which will include zebrafish toxicity assays).

After transfer to WP4 for bioassay-guided fractionation, dereplication, and structure determination, pure compounds will be prioritized by additional bioassays.

Extracts that show interesting bioactivity e.g. low cyto-toxicity and/or dual activity from cell based screens e.g. anti-inflammatory/anti-oxidant will be subjected to additional screens to identify potential value and novel applications of marine natural products in personal care and nutrition as part of follow-on projects.  

WP leader: University of Tromsø, Jeanette H. Andersen