Multiple voltage-gated Na+ (Nav) channelopathies can be ascribed to subtle changes in the Nav macromolecular complex. Fibroblast growth factor 14 (FGF14) is a functionally relevant component of the Nav1.6 channel complex, a causative link to spinocerebellar ataxia 27 (SCA27) and an emerging risk factor for neuropsychiatric disorders. Yet, how this protein:channel complex is regulated in the cell is still poorly understood. To search for key cellular pathways upstream of the FGF14:Nav1.6 complex, we have developed, miniaturized and optimized an in-cell assay in 384-well plates by stably reconstituting the FGF14:Nav1.6 complex using the split-luciferase complementation assay. We then conducted a high-throughput screening (HTS) of 267 FDA-approved compounds targeting known mediators of cellular signaling. Of the 65 hits initially detected, 24 were excluded based on counter-screening and cellular toxicity. Based on target analysis, potency and dose-response relationships, 5 compounds were subsequently repurchased for validation and confirmed as hits. Among those, the tyrosine kinase inhibitor lestaurtinib was highest ranked, exhibiting submicromolar inhibition of FGF14:Nav1.6 assembly. While providing evidence for a robust in-cell HTS platform that can be adapted to search for any channelopathy-associated regulatory proteins, these results lay the potential groundwork for repurposing cancer drugs for neuropsychopharmacology.
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