News & Events

Dr. Roger G. Linington

Posted on September 18, 2015


Date - September 18, 2015
1:00 pm


Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in High-Throughput Screening and Chemical Biology
Department of Chemistry, Simon Fraser University

“Integration of High-Content Screening and Untargeted Metabolomics for Comprehensive Functional Annotation of Natural Product Libraries”


Traditional natural products discovery using a combination of live/dead screening followed by iterative bioassay-guided fractionation affords no information about compound structure or mode of action until late in the discovery process. This leads to high rates of rediscovery and low probabilities of finding compounds with unique biological and/or chemical properties. By integrating image-based phenotypic screening in HeLa cells with high-resolution untargeted metabolomics analysis, we have developed a new platform, termed Compound Activity Mapping, which is capable of directly predicting the identities and modes of action of bioactive constituents for any complex natural product extract library. This new tool can be used to rapidly identify novel bioactive constituents and provide predictions of compound modes of action directly from primary screening data. This approach inverts the natural products discovery process from the existing ‘grind and find’ model to a targeted, hypothesis-driven discovery model where the chemical features and biological function of bioactive metabolites are known early in the screening workflow, and lead compounds can be rationally selected based on biological and/or chemical novelty. We demonstrate the utility of the Compound Activity Mapping platform by combining 10,977 mass spectral features and 58,032 biological measurements from a library of 234 natural products extracts and integrating these two datasets to identify thirteen clusters of fractions containing eleven known compound families and four new compounds. Using Compound Activity Mapping we discovered the quinocinnolinomycins, a new family of natural products with a unique carbon skeleton that cause endoplasmic reticulum stress.