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Allosteric modulation of metabotropic glutamate receptor 2 (mGlu) has demonstrated efficacy in preclinical rodent models of several brain disorders, leading to industry and academic drug discovery efforts. Although the pharmacology and binding sites of some mGlu allosteric modulators have been characterized previously, questions remain about the nature of the allosteric mechanism of cooperativity with glutamate and whether structurally diverse allosteric modulators bind in an identical manner to specific allosteric sites. To further investigate the in vitro pharmacology of mGlu allosteric modulators, we developed and characterized a novel mGlu positive allosteric modulator (PAM) radioligand in parallel with functional studies of a structurally diverse set of mGlu PAMs and negative allosteric modulators (NAMs). Using an operational model of allosterism to analyze the functional data, we found that PAMs affect both the affinity and efficacy of glutamate at mGlu, whereas NAMs predominantly affect the efficacy of glutamate in our assay system. More importantly, we found that binding of a novel mGlu PAM radioligand was inhibited by multiple structurally diverse PAMs and NAMs, indicating that they may bind to the mGlu allosteric site labeled with the novel mGlu PAM radioligand; however, further studies suggested that these allosteric modulators do not all interact with the radioligand in an identical manner. Together, these findings provide new insights into the binding sites and modes of efficacy of different structurally and functionally distinct mGlu allosteric modulators and suggest that different ligands either interact with distinct sites or adapt different binding poses to shared allosteric site(s).
Copyright © 2018 by The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.
In vivo evaluation of [F]BMS-754807 binding in mice and rats using microPET and biodistribution methods is described herein. The radioligand shows consistent binding characteristics, in vivo, in both species. Early time frames of the microPET images and time activity curves of brain indicate poor penetration of the tracer across the blood brain barrier (BBB) in both species. However, microPET experiments in mice and rats show high binding of the radioligand outside the brain to heart, pancreas and muscle, the organs known for higher expression of IGF1R/1R. Biodistribution analysis 2h after injection of [F]BMS-754807 in rats show negligible [F]defluorination as reflected by the low bone uptake and clearance from blood. Overall, the data indicate that [F]BMS-754807 can potentially be a radiotracer for the quantification of IGF1R/IR outside the brain using PET.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) represent the largest class of current drug targets. In particular, small-molecule allosteric modulators offer substantial potential for selectively "tuning" GPCR activity. However, there remains a critical need for experimental strategies that unambiguously determine direct allosteric ligand-GPCR interactions, to facilitate both chemical biology studies and rational structure-based drug design. We now report the development and use of first-in-class clickable allosteric photoprobes for a GPCR based on metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGlu5) negative allosteric modulator (NAM) chemotypes. Select acetylenic mGlu5 NAM lead compounds were rationally modified to contain either a benzophenone or an aryl azide as a photoreactive functional group, enabling irreversible covalent attachment to mGlu5 via photoactivation. Additionally, a terminal alkyne or an aliphatic azide was incorporated as a click chemistry handle, allowing chemoselective attachment of fluorescent moieties to the irreversibly mGlu5-bound probe via tandem photoaffinity labeling-bioorthogonal conjugation. These clickable photoprobes retained submicromolar affinity for mGlu5 and negative cooperativity with glutamate, interacted with the "common allosteric-binding site," displayed slow binding kinetics, and could irreversibly label mGlu5 following UV exposure. We depleted the number of functional mGlu5 receptors using an irreversibly bound NAM to elucidate and delineate orthosteric agonist affinity and efficacy. Finally, successful conjugation of fluorescent dyes via click chemistry was demonstrated for each photoprobe. In the future, these clickable photoprobes are expected to aid our understanding of the structural basis of mGlu5 allosteric modulation. Furthermore, tandem photoaffinity labeling-bioorthogonal conjugation is expected to be a broadly applicable experimental strategy across the entire GPCR superfamily.
Negative allosteric modulators (NAMs) of metabotropic glutamate receptor subtype 5 (mGlu5) have potential applications in the treatment of fragile X syndrome, levodopa-induced dyskinesia in Parkinson disease, Alzheimer disease, addiction, and anxiety; however, clinical and preclinical studies raise concerns that complete blockade of mGlu5 and inverse agonist activity of current mGlu5 NAMs contribute to adverse effects that limit the therapeutic use of these compounds. We report the discovery and characterization of a novel mGlu5 NAM, N,N-diethyl-5-((3-fluorophenyl)ethynyl)picolinamide (VU0477573) that binds to the same allosteric site as the prototypical mGlu5 NAM MPEP but displays weak negative cooperativity. Because of this weak cooperativity, VU0477573 acts as a "partial NAM" so that full occupancy of the MPEP site does not completely inhibit maximal effects of mGlu5 agonists on intracellular calcium mobilization, inositol phosphate (IP) accumulation, or inhibition of synaptic transmission at the hippocampal Schaffer collateral-CA1 synapse. Unlike previous mGlu5 NAMs, VU0477573 displays no inverse agonist activity assessed using measures of effects on basal [(3)H]inositol phosphate (IP) accumulation. VU0477573 acts as a full NAM when measuring effects on mGlu5-mediated extracellular signal-related kinases 1/2 phosphorylation, which may indicate functional bias. VU0477573 exhibits an excellent pharmacokinetic profile and good brain penetration in rodents and provides dose-dependent full mGlu5 occupancy in the central nervous system (CNS) with systemic administration. Interestingly, VU0477573 shows robust efficacy, comparable to the mGlu5 NAM MTEP, in models of anxiolytic activity at doses that provide full CNS occupancy of mGlu5 and demonstrate an excellent CNS occupancy-efficacy relationship. VU0477573 provides an exciting new tool to investigate the efficacy of partial NAMs in animal models.
Copyright © 2015 by The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.
Allosteric modulators of the metabotropic glutamate receptor subtype 5 (mGlu5) have exciting potential as therapeutic agents for multiple brain disorders. Translational studies with mGlu5 modulators have relied on mGlu5 allosteric site positron emission tomography (PET) radioligands to assess receptor occupancy in the brain. However, recent structural and modeling studies suggest that closely related mGlu5 allosteric modulators can bind to overlapping but not identical sites, which could complicate interpretation of in vivo occupancy data, even when PET ligands and drug leads are developed from the same chemical scaffold. We now report that systemic administration of the novel mGlu5 positive allosteric modulator VU0092273 displaced the structurally related mGlu5 PET ligand, [(18)F]FPEB, with measures of in vivo occupancy that closely aligned with its in vivo efficacy. In contrast, a close analog of VU0092273 and [(18)F]FPEB, VU0360172, provided robust efficacy in rodent models in the absence of detectable occupancy. Furthermore, a structurally unrelated mGlu5 negative allosteric modulator, VU0409106, displayed measures of in vivo occupancy that correlated well with behavioral effects, despite the fact that VU0409106 is structurally unrelated to [(18)F]FPEB. Interestingly, all three compounds inhibit radioligand binding to the prototypical MPEP/FPEB allosteric site in vitro. However, VU0092273 and VU0409106 bind to this site in a fully competitive manner, whereas the interaction of VU0360172 is noncompetitive. Thus, while close structural similarity between PET ligands and drug leads does not circumvent issues associated with differential binding to a given target, detailed molecular pharmacology analysis accurately predicts utility of ligand pairs for in vivo occupancy studies.
Positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) of metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGlu5) represent a promising therapeutic strategy for the treatment of schizophrenia. Both allosteric agonism and high glutamate fold-shift have been implicated in the neurotoxic profile of some mGlu5 PAMs; however, these hypotheses remain to be adequately addressed. To develop tool compounds to probe these hypotheses, the structure-activity relationship of allosteric agonism was examined within an acetylenic series of mGlu5 PAMs exhibiting allosteric agonism in addition to positive allosteric modulation (ago-PAMs). PAM 38t, a low glutamate fold-shift allosteric ligand (maximum fold-shift ~ 3.0), was selected as a potent PAM with no agonism in the in vitro system used for compound characterization and in two native electrophysiological systems using rat hippocampal slices. PAM 38t (ML254) will be useful to probe the relative contribution of cooperativity and allosteric agonism to the adverse effect liability and neurotoxicity associated with this class of mGlu5 PAMs.
Unlike the majority of G protein-coupled receptors, the prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)) E-prostanoid 3 (EP3) receptor binds agonist with high affinity that is insensitive to the presence of guanosine 5[prime]-O-(3-thio)triphosphate (GTPγS). We report the identification of mutations that confer GTPγS sensitivity to agonist binding. Seven point mutations were introduced into the conserved motif in the second extracellular loop (ECII) of EP3, resulting in acquisition of GTP-sensitive agonist binding. One receptor mutation W203A was studied in detail. Loss of agonist binding was observed on intact human embryonic kidney 293 cells expressing the W203A receptor, conditions where high GTP levels are present; however, high affinity binding [(3)H]PGE(2) was observed in broken cell preparations washed free of GTP. The [(3)H]PGE(2) binding of W203A in broken cell membrane fractions was inhibited by addition of GTPγS (IC(50) 21 ± 1.8 nM). Taken together, these results suggest that the wild-type EP3 receptor displays unusual characteristics of the complex coupled equilibria between agonist-receptor and receptor-G protein interaction. Moreover, mutation of ECII can alter this coupled equilibrium from GTP-insensitive agonist binding to more conventional GTP-sensitive binding. This suggests that for the mutant receptors, ECII plays a critical role in linking the agonist bound receptor conformation to the G protein nucleotide bound state.
The synthesis of phidianidines A and B, the first 1,2,4-oxadiazole-containing alkaloid, from the marine opisthobranch mollusk Phidiana militaris is reported. The synthesis proceeds in six steps from known indole acetic acids in 39.9% (phidianidine A) and 21% (phidianidine B) overall yields from commercially available materials. Biological characterization found that phidianidines A and B are selective inhibitors of DAT (versus SERT and NET) and a selective, potent ligand and partial agonist of the μ opioid receptor (versus δ- and κ-opioid receptors). Moreover, neither phidianidines A and B are cytotoxic, and thus represent an attractive starting point for chemical optimization; therefore, we piloted a number of chemistries and prepared a diverse series of unnatural analogs.
Drug discovery programs increasingly are focusing on allosteric modulators as a means to modify the activity of G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) targets. Allosteric binding sites are topographically distinct from the endogenous ligand (orthosteric) binding site, which allows for co-occupation of a single receptor with the endogenous ligand and an allosteric modulator that can alter receptor pharmacological characteristics. Negative allosteric modulators (NAMs) inhibit and positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) enhance the affinity and/or efficacy of orthosteric agonists. Established approaches for estimation of affinity and efficacy values for orthosteric ligands are not appropriate for allosteric modulators, and this presents challenges for fully understanding the actions of novel modulators of GPCRs. Metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGlu(5)) is a family C GPCR for which a large array of allosteric modulators have been identified. We took advantage of the many tools for probing allosteric sites on mGlu(5) to validate an operational model of allosterism that allows quantitative estimation of modulator affinity and cooperativity values. Affinity estimates derived from functional assays fit well with affinities measured in radioligand binding experiments for both PAMs and NAMs with diverse chemical scaffolds and varying degrees of cooperativity. We observed modulation bias for PAMs when we compared mGlu(5)-mediated Ca(2+) mobilization and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 phosphorylation data. Furthermore, we used this model to quantify the effects of mutations that reduce binding or potentiation by PAMs. This model can be applied to PAM and NAM potency curves in combination with maximal fold-shift data to derive reliable estimates of modulator affinities.
Methamphetamine interacts with sigma receptors at physiologically relevant concentrations suggesting a potential site for pharmacologic intervention. In the present study, a previous sigma receptor ligand, CM156, was optimized for metabolic stability, and the lead analog was evaluated against the behavioral effects of methamphetamine. Radioligand binding studies demonstrated that the lead analog, AZ66, displayed high nanomolar affinity for both sigma-1 and sigma-2 receptors (2.4 ± 0.63 and 0.51 ± 0.15, respectively). In addition, AZ66 had preferential affinity for sigma receptors compared to seven other sites and a significantly longer half-life than its predecessor, CM156, in vitro and in vivo. Pretreatment of male, Swiss Webster mice with intraperitoneal (10-20 mg/kg) or oral (20-30 mg/kg) dosing of AZ66 significantly attenuated the acute locomotor stimulatory effects of methamphetamine. Additionally, AZ66 (10-20 mg/kg, i.p.) significantly reduced the expression and development of behavioral sensitization induced by repeated methamphetamine administration. Taken together, these data indicate that sigma receptors can be targeted to mitigate the acute and subchronic behavioral effects of methamphetamine and AZ66 represents a viable lead compound in the development of novel therapeutics against methamphetamine-induced behaviors.