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Two genes encode the Na -K -2Cl cotransporters, NKCC1 and NKCC2, that mediate the tightly coupled movement of 1Na , 1K , and 2Cl across the plasma membrane of cells. Na -K -2Cl cotransport is driven by the chemical gradient of the three ionic species across the membrane, two of them maintained by the action of the Na /K pump. In many cells, NKCC1 accumulates Cl above its electrochemical potential equilibrium, thereby facilitating Cl channel-mediated membrane depolarization. In smooth muscle cells, this depolarization facilitates the opening of voltage-sensitive Ca channels, leading to Ca influx, and cell contraction. In immature neurons, the depolarization due to a GABA-mediated Cl conductance produces an excitatory rather than inhibitory response. In many cell types that have lost water, NKCC is activated to help the cells recover their volume. This is specially the case if the cells have also lost Cl . In combination with the Na /K pump, the NKCC's move ions across various specialized epithelia. NKCC1 is involved in Cl -driven fluid secretion in many exocrine glands, such as sweat, lacrimal, salivary, stomach, pancreas, and intestine. NKCC1 is also involved in K -driven fluid secretion in inner ear, and possibly in Na -driven fluid secretion in choroid plexus. In the thick ascending limb of Henle, NKCC2 activity in combination with the Na /K pump participates in reabsorbing 30% of the glomerular-filtered Na . Overall, many critical physiological functions are maintained by the activity of the two Na -K -2Cl cotransporters. In this overview article, we focus on the functional roles of the cotransporters in nonpolarized cells and in epithelia. © 2018 American Physiological Society. Compr Physiol 8:871-901, 2018.
Copyright © 2018 American Physiological Society. All rights reserved.
Translocator Protein (18 kDa, TSPO) is regarded as a useful biomarker for neuroinflammation imaging. TSPO PET imaging could be used to understand the role of neuroinflammation in brain diseases and as a tool for evaluating novel therapeutic effects. As a promising TSPO probe, [F]DPA-714 is highly specific and offers reliable quantification of TSPO in vivo. In this study, we further radiosynthesized and evaluated another novel TSPO probe, 2-(7-butyl-2-(4-(2-[F]fluoroethoxy)phenyl)-5-methylpyrazolo[1,5-a]pyrimidin-3-yl)-N,N-diethylacetamide ([F]VUIIS1018A), which features a 700-fold higher binding affinity for TSPO than that of [F]DPA-714. We evaluated the performance of [F]VUIIS1018A using dynamic in vivo PET imaging, radiometabolite analysis, in vitro autoradiography assays, biodistribution analysis, and blocking assays. In vivo study using this probe demonstrated high signal-to-noise ratio, binding potential (BP), and binding specificity in preclinical neuroinflammation studies. Taken together, these findings indicate that [F]VUIIS1018A may serve as a novel TSPO PET probe for neuroinflammation imaging.
Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS.
Incorporating experimental restraints is a powerful method of increasing accuracy in computational protein small molecule docking simulations. Different algorithms integrate distinct forms of biochemical data during the docking and/or scoring stages. These so-called hybrid methods make use of receptor-based information such as nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) restraints or small molecule-based information such as structure-activity relationships (SARs). A third class of methods directly interrogates contacts between the protein receptor and the small molecule. This work reviews the current state of using such restraints in docking simulations, evaluates their feasibility across broad systems, and identifies potential areas of algorithm development.
Vaccinia virus (VACV) envelope protein D8 is one of three glycosaminoglycan adhesion molecules and binds to the linear polysaccharide chondroitin sulfate (CS). D8 is also a target for neutralizing antibody responses that are elicited by the smallpox vaccine, which has enabled the first eradication of a human viral pathogen and is a useful model for studying antibody responses. However, to date, VACV epitopes targeted by human antibodies have not been characterized at atomic resolution. Here, we characterized the binding properties of several human anti-D8 antibodies and determined the crystal structures of three VACV-mAb variants, VACV-66, VACV-138, and VACV-304, separately bound to D8. Although all these antibodies bound D8 with high affinity and were moderately neutralizing in the presence of complement, VACV-138 and VACV-304 also fully blocked D8 binding to CS-A, the low affinity ligand for D8. VACV-138 also abrogated D8 binding to the high-affinity ligand CS-E, but we observed residual CS-E binding was observed in the presence of VACV-304. Analysis of the VACV-138- and VACV-304-binding sites along the CS-binding crevice of D8, combined with different efficiencies of blocking D8 adhesion to CS-A and CS-E allowed us to propose that D8 has a high- and low-affinity CS-binding region within its central crevice. The crevice is amenable to protein engineering to further enhance both specificity and affinity of binding to CS-E. Finally, a wild-type D8 tetramer specifically bound to structures within the developing glomeruli of the kidney, which express CS-E. We propose that through structure-based protein engineering, an improved D8 tetramer could be used as a potential diagnostic tool to detect expression of CS-E, which is a possible biomarker for ovarian cancer.
© 2018 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
The discovery of selective inhibitors of biological target proteins is the primary goal of many drug discovery campaigns. However, this goal has proven elusive, especially for inhibitors targeting the well-conserved orthosteric adenosine triphosphate (ATP) binding pocket of kinase enzymes. The human kinome is large and it is rather difficult to profile early lead compounds against around 500 targets to gain an upfront knowledge on selectivity. Further, selectivity can change drastically during derivatization of an initial lead compound. Here, we have introduced a computational model to support the profiling of compounds early in the drug discovery pipeline. On the basis of the extensive profiled activity of 70 kinase inhibitors against 379 kinases, including 81 tyrosine kinases, we developed a quantitative structure-activity relation (QSAR) model using artificial neural networks, to predict the activity of these kinase inhibitors against the panel of 379 kinases. The model's performance in predicting activity ranges from 0.6 to 0.8 depending on the kinase, from the area under the curve (AUC) of the receiver operating characteristics (ROC). The profiler is available online at http://www.meilerlab.org/index.php/servers/show?s_id=23.
The G protein-gated inwardly-rectifying potassium channels (GIRK, K3) are a family of inward-rectifying potassium channels, and there is significant evidence supporting the roles of GIRKs in a number of physiological processes and as potential targets for numerous indications. Previously reported urea containing molecules as GIRK1/2 preferring activators have had significant pharmacokinetic (PK) liabilities. Here we report a novel series of 1H-pyrazolo-5-yl-2-phenylacetamides in an effort to improve upon the PK properties. This series of compounds display nanomolar potency as GIRK1/2 activators with improved brain distribution (rodent K > 0.6).
VU590 was the first publicly disclosed, submicromolar-affinity (IC = 0.2 M), small-molecule inhibitor of the inward rectifier potassium (Kir) channel and diuretic target, Kir1.1. VU590 also inhibits Kir7.1 (IC ∼ 8 M), and has been used to reveal new roles for Kir7.1 in regulation of myometrial contractility and melanocortin signaling. Here, we employed molecular modeling, mutagenesis, and patch clamp electrophysiology to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying VU590 inhibition of Kir1.1 and Kir7.1. Block of both channels is voltage- and K-dependent, suggesting the VU590 binding site is located within the pore. Mutagenesis analysis in Kir1.1 revealed that asparagine 171 (N171) is the only pore-lining residue required for high-affinity block, and that substituting negatively charged residues (N171D, N171E) at this position dramatically weakens block. In contrast, substituting a negatively charged residue at the equivalent position in Kir7.1 enhances block by VU590, suggesting the VU590 binding mode is different. Interestingly, mutations of threonine 153 (T153) in Kir7.1 that reduce constrained polarity at this site (T153C, T153V, T153S) make wild-type and binding-site mutants (E149Q, A150S) more sensitive to block by VU590. The Kir7.1-T153C mutation enhances block by the structurally unrelated inhibitor VU714 but not by a higher-affinity analog ML418, suggesting that the polar side chain of T153 creates a barrier to low-affinity ligands that interact with E149 and A150. Reverse mutations in Kir1.1 suggest that this mechanism is conserved in other Kir channels. This study reveals a previously unappreciated role of membrane pore polarity in determination of Kir channel inhibitor pharmacology.
Copyright © 2017 by The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.
Preclinical evidence in support of the potential utility of mGlu NAMs for the treatment of a variety of psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders is extensive, and multiple such molecules have entered clinical trials. Despite some promising results from clinical studies, no small molecule mGlu NAM has yet to reach market. Here we present the discovery and evaluation of N-(5-fluoropyridin-2-yl)-6-methyl-4-(pyrimidin-5-yloxy)picolinamide (27, VU0424238), a compound selected for clinical evaluation. Compound 27 is more than 900-fold selective for mGlu versus the other mGlu receptors, and binding studies established a K value of 4.4 nM at a known allosteric binding site. Compound 27 had a clearance of 19.3 and 15.5 mL/min/kg in rats and cynomolgus monkeys, respectively. Imaging studies using a known mGlu PET ligand demonstrated 50% receptor occupancy at an oral dose of 0.8 mg/kg in rats and an intravenous dose of 0.06 mg/kg in baboons.
Protein lysine methyltransferases (KMTs) have emerged as important regulators of epigenetic signaling. These enzymes catalyze the transfer of donor methyl groups from the cofactor S-adenosylmethionine to specific acceptor lysine residues on histones, leading to changes in chromatin structure and transcriptional regulation. These enzymes also methylate an array of nonhistone proteins, suggesting additional mechanisms by which they influence cellular physiology. SMYD2 is reported to be an oncogenic methyltransferase that represses the functional activity of the tumor suppressor proteins p53 and RB. HTS screening led to identification of five distinct substrate-competitive chemical series. Determination of liganded crystal structures of SMYD2 contributed significantly to "hit-to-lead" design efforts, culminating in the creation of potent and selective inhibitors that were used to understand the functional consequences of SMYD2 inhibition. Taken together, these results have broad implications for inhibitor design against KMTs and clearly demonstrate the potential for developing novel therapies against these enzymes.
Both historical clinical and recent preclinical data suggest that the M muscarinic acetylcholine receptor is an exciting target for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease and the cognitive and negative symptom clusters in schizophrenia; however, early drug discovery efforts targeting the orthosteric binding site have failed to afford selective M activation. Efforts then shifted to focus on selective activation of M via either allosteric agonists or positive allosteric modulators (PAMs). While M PAMs have robust efficacy in rodent models, some chemotypes can induce cholinergic adverse effects (AEs) that could limit their clinical utility. Here, we report studies aimed at understanding the subtle structural and pharmacological nuances that differentiate efficacy from adverse effect liability within an indole-based series of M ago-PAMs. Our data demonstrate that closely related M PAMs can display striking differences in their in vivo activities, especially their propensities to induce adverse effects. We report the discovery of a novel PAM in this series that is devoid of observable adverse effect liability. Interestingly, the molecular pharmacology profile of this novel PAM is similar to that of a representative M PAM that induces severe AEs. For instance, both compounds are potent ago-PAMs that demonstrate significant interaction with the orthosteric site (either bitopic or negative cooperativity). However, there are subtle differences in efficacies of the compounds at potentiating M responses, agonist potencies, and abilities to induce receptor internalization. While these differences may contribute to the differential in vivo profiles of these compounds, the in vitro differences are relatively subtle and highlight the complexities of allosteric modulators and the need to focus on in vivo phenotypic screening to identify safe and effective M PAMs.