A rare coding variant in PLCγ2 (P522R) expressed in microglia induces a mild activation of enzymatic activity when compared to wild-type. This mutation is reported to be protective against the cognitive decline associated with late-onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD) and therefore, activation of wild-type PLCγ2 has been suggested as a potential therapeutic target for the prevention and treatment of LOAD. Additionally, PLCγ2 has been associated with other diseases such as cancer and some autoimmune disorders where mutations with much greater increases in PLCγ2 activity have been identified. Here, pharmacological inhibition may provide a therapeutic effect. In order to facilitate our investigation of the activity of PLCγ2, we developed an optimized fluorogenic substrate to monitor enzymatic activity in aqueous solution. This was accomplished by first exploring the spectral properties of various “turn-on” fluorophores. The most promising turn-on fluorophore was incorporated into a water-soluble PLCγ2 reporter substrate, which we named C8CF3-coumarin. The ability of PLCγ2 to enzymatically process C8CF3-coumarin was confirmed, and the kinetics of the reaction were determined. Reaction conditions were optimized to identify small molecule activators, and a pilot screen of the Library of Pharmacologically Active Compounds 1280 (LOPAC1280) was performed with the goal of identifying small molecule activators of PLCγ2. The optimized screening conditions allowed identification of potential PLCγ2 activators and inhibitors, thus demonstrating the feasibility of this approach for high-throughput screening.
SLAS Discovery, Volume 28, June 2023,