Fluorescence polarisation for high-throughput screening of adulterated food products via phosphodiesterase 5 inhibition assay.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Drug testing and analysis, 2020
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The surge in the consumption of food products containing herbal aphrodisiacs has driven their widespread adulteration. A rapid screening strategy is, therefore, warranted to curb this problem. This study established an enzyme inhibition assay to screen phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5) inhibitors as adulterants in selected food products. Fluorescein-labelled cyclic-3',5'-guanosine monophosphate was utilised as substrates for the PDE5A1 enzyme, aided by the presence of nanoparticle phosphate-binding beads on their fluorescence polarisation. The sample preparation was optimised to improve the enzyme inhibition efficiency and applied to calculate the threshold values of six blank food matrices. The assay was validated using sildenafil, producing an IC50 of 4.2 nM. The applicability of the assay procedure was demonstrated by screening 55 distinct food samples. The results were subsequently verified using confirmatory liquid chromatography-high-resolution mass spectrometry (LC-HRMS) analysis. Altogether, 49 samples inhibited the PDE5 enzyme above the threshold values (75.7%-105.5%) and were registered as potentially adulterated samples. The remaining six samples were marked as nonadulterated with percentage inhibition below the threshold values (-3.3%-18.2%). The LC-HRMS analysis agreed with the assay results for all food products except for the instant coffee premix (ICP) samples. False-positive results were obtained for the ICP samples at 32% (8/25), due to possible PDE5 inhibition by caffeine. Contrarily, all other food samples were found to produce 0% (0/30) false-positive or false-negative results. The broad-based assay, established via a simple mix-incubate-read format, exhibited promising potential for high-throughput screening of PDE5 inhibitors in various food products, except those with naturally occurring phosphodiesterase inhibitors such as caffeine.
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