Inhibition by various antipsychotic drugs of the G-protein-activated inwardly rectifying K(+) (GIRK) channels expressed in xenopus oocytes.
ABSTRACT: To investigate the effects of various chemical classes of antipsychotic drugs: haloperidol, thioridazine, pimozide and clozapine, on the G-protein-activated inwardly rectifying K(+) (GIRK) channels, we carried out Xenopus oocyte functional assays with GIRK1 and GIRK2 mRNAs or GIRK1 and GIRK4 mRNAs. In oocytes co-injected with GIRK1 and GIRK2 mRNAs, application of each of the various antipsychotic drugs immediately caused a reduction of inward currents through the basally active GIRK channels. These responses were not observed in the presence of 3 mM Ba(2+), which blocks the GIRK channels. In addition, in uninjected oocytes, none of the drugs tested produced any significant current response. These results indicate that all the antipsychotic drugs tested inhibited the brain-type GIRK1/2 heteromultimeric channels. Furthermore, similar results were obtained in oocytes co-injected with GIRK1 and GIRK4 mRNAs, indicating that the antipsychotic drugs also inhibited the cardiac-type GIRK1/4 heteromultimeric channels. All the drugs tested inhibited, in a concentration-dependent manner, both types of GIRK channels with varying degrees of potency and effectiveness at micromolar concentrations. Only pimozide caused slight inhibition of these channels at nanomolar concentrations. We conclude that the various antipsychotic drugs acted as inhibitors at the brain-type and cardiac-type GIRK channels. Our results suggest that inhibition of both types of GIRK channels by these drugs underlies some of the side effects, in particular seizures and sinus tachycardia, observed in clinical practice.
Project description:G-protein-gated inwardly-rectifying K<sup>+</sup> (GIRK) channels are targets of G<sub>i/o</sub>-protein-signaling systems that inhibit cell excitability. GIRK channels exist as homotetramers (GIRK2 and GIRK4) or heterotetramers with nonfunctional homomeric subunits (GIRK1 and GIRK3). Although they have been implicated in multiple conditions, the lack of selective GIRK drugs that discriminate among the different GIRK channel subtypes has hampered investigations into their precise physiological relevance and therapeutic potential. Here, we report on a highly-specific, potent, and efficacious activator of brain GIRK1/2 channels. Using a chemical screen and electrophysiological assays, we found that this activator, the bromothiophene-substituted small molecule GAT1508, is specific for brain-expressed GIRK1/2 channels rather than for cardiac GIRK1/4 channels. Computational models predicted a GAT1508-binding site validated by experimental mutagenesis experiments, providing insights into how urea-based compounds engage distant GIRK1 residues required for channel activation. Furthermore, we provide computational and experimental evidence that GAT1508 is an allosteric modulator of channel-phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate interactions. Through brain-slice electrophysiology, we show that subthreshold GAT1508 concentrations directly stimulate GIRK currents in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) and potentiate baclofen-induced currents. Of note, GAT1508 effectively extinguished conditioned fear in rodents and lacked cardiac and behavioral side effects, suggesting its potential for use in pharmacotherapy for post-traumatic stress disorder. In summary, our findings indicate that the small molecule GAT1508 has high specificity for brain GIRK1/2 channel subunits, directly or allosterically activates GIRK1/2 channels in the BLA, and facilitates fear extinction in a rodent model.
Project description:G protein-gated, inwardly rectifying, potassium (GIRK) channels are important regulators of cellular excitability throughout the body. GIRK channels are heterotetrameric and homotetrameric combinations of the Kir3.1-4 (GIRK1-4) subunits. Different subunit combinations are expressed throughout the central nervous system (CNS) and the periphery, and most of these combinations contain a GIRK1 subunit. For example, the predominance of GIRK channels in the CNS are composed of GIRK1 and GIRK2 subunits, while the GIRK channels in cardiac atrial myocytes are made up mostly of GIRK1 and GIRK4 subunits. Although the vast majority of GIRK channels contain a GIRK1 subunit, discrete populations of cells that express non-GIRK1-containing GIRK (non-GIRK1/X) channels do exist. For instance, dopaminergic neurons in the ventral tegmental area of the brain, associated with addiction and reward, do not express the GIRK1 subunit. Targeting these non-GIRK1/X channels with subunit-selective pharmacological probes could lead to important insights into how GIRK channels are involved in reward and addiction. Such insights may, in turn, reveal therapeutic opportunities for the treatment or prevention of addiction. Previously, our laboratory discovered small molecules that can specifically modulate the activity of GIRK1-containing GIRK channels. However, efforts to generate compounds active on non-GIRK1/X channels from these scaffolds have been unsuccessful. Recently, ivermectin was shown to modulate non-GIRK1/X channels, and historically, ivermectin is known to modulate a wide variety of neuronal channels and receptors. Further, ivermectin is a complex natural product, which makes it a challenging starting point for development of more selective, effective, and potent compounds. Thus, while ivermectin provides proof-of-concept as a non-GIRK1/X channel activator, it is of limited utility. Therefore, we sought to discover a synthetic small molecule that would serve as a starting point for the development of non-GIRK1/X channel modulators. To accomplish this, we used a high-throughput thallium flux assay to screen a 100?000-compound library in search of activators of homomeric GIRK2 channels. Using this approach, we discovered VU0529331, the first synthetic small molecule reported to activate non-GIRK1/X channels, to our knowledge. This discovery represents the first step toward developing potent and selective non-GIRK1/X channel probes. Such molecules will help elucidate the role of GIRK channels in addiction, potentially establishing a foundation for future development of therapies utilizing targeted GIRK channel modulation.
Project description:The atrial G protein-gated inwardly rectifying K+ (GIRK) channel is a critical mediator of parasympathetic influence on cardiac physiology. Here, we probed the details and relevance of the GIRK channel in mouse ventricle. mRNAs for the atrial GIRK channel subunits (GIRK1, GIRK4), M2 muscarinic receptor (M2R), and RGS6, a negative regulator of atrial GIRK-dependent signaling, were detected in mouse ventricle at relatively low levels. The cholinergic agonist carbachol (CCh) activated small GIRK currents in adult wild-type ventricular myocytes that exhibited relatively slow kinetics and low CCh sensitivity; these currents were absent in ventricular myocytes from Girk1-/- or Girk4-/- mice. While loss of GIRK channels attenuated the CCh-induced shortening of action potential duration and suppression of ventricular myocyte excitability, selective ablation of GIRK channels in ventricle had no effect on heart rate, heart rate variability, or electrocardiogram parameters at baseline or after CCh injection. Additionally, loss of ventricular GIRK channels did not impact susceptibility to ventricular arrhythmias. These data suggest that the mouse ventricular GIRK channel is a GIRK1/GIRK4 heteromer, and show that while it contributes to the cholinergic suppression of ventricular myocyte excitability, this influence does not substantially impact cardiac physiology or ventricular arrhythmogenesis in the mouse.
Project description:Atomoxetine and reboxetine are commonly used as selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (NRIs) for the treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and depression, respectively. Furthermore, recent studies have suggested that NRIs may be useful for the treatment of several other psychiatric disorders. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the various effects of NRIs have not yet been sufficiently clarified. G-protein-activated inwardly rectifying K(+) (GIRK or Kir3) channels have an important function in regulating neuronal excitability and heart rate, and GIRK channel modulation has been suggested to be a potential treatment for several neuropsychiatric disorders and cardiac arrhythmias. In this study, we investigated the effects of atomoxetine and reboxetine on GIRK channels using the Xenopus oocyte expression assay. In oocytes injected with mRNA for GIRK1/GIRK2, GIRK2, or GIRK1/GIRK4 subunits, extracellular application of atomoxetine or reboxetine reversibly reduced GIRK currents. The inhibitory effects were concentration-dependent, but voltage-independent, and time-independent during each voltage pulse. However, Kir1.1 and Kir2.1 channels were insensitive to atomoxetine and reboxetine. Atomoxetine and reboxetine also inhibited GIRK currents induced by activation of cloned A(1) adenosine receptors or by intracellularly applied GTPgammaS, a nonhydrolyzable GTP analogue. Furthermore, the GIRK currents induced by ethanol were concentration-dependently inhibited by extracellularly applied atomoxetine but not by intracellularly applied atomoxetine. The present results suggest that atomoxetine and reboxetine inhibit brain- and cardiac-type GIRK channels, revealing a novel characteristic of clinically used NRIs. GIRK channel inhibition may contribute to some of the therapeutic effects of NRIs and adverse side effects related to nervous system and heart function.
Project description:G protein-coupled inward rectifier K(+) (GIRK) channels regulate cellular excitability and neurotransmission. The GIRK channels are activated by a number of inhibitory neurotransmitters through the G protein betagamma subunit (G(betagamma)) after activation of G protein-coupled receptors and inhibited by several excitatory neurotransmitters through activation of phospholipase C. If the inhibition is produced by PKC, there should be PKC phosphorylation sites in GIRK channel proteins. To identify the PKC phosphorylation sites, we performed systematic mutagenesis analysis on GIRK4 and GIRK1 subunits expressed in Xenopus oocytes. Our data showed that the heteromeric GIRK1/GIRK4 channels were inhibited by a PKC activator phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) through reduction of single channel open-state probability. Direct application of the catalytic subunit of PKC to excised patches had a similar inhibitory effect. This inhibition was greatly eliminated by mutation of Ser-185 in GIRK1 and Ser-191 in GIRK4 that remained G protein sensitive. The PKC-dependent phosphorylation seems to mediate the channel inhibition by the excitatory neurotransmitter substance P (SP) as specific PKC inhibitors and mutation of these PKC phosphorylation sites abolished the SP-induced inhibition of GIRK1/GIRK4 channels. Thus, these results indicate that the PKC-dependent phosphorylation underscores the inhibition of GIRK channels by SP, and Ser-185 in GIRK1 and Ser-191 in GIRK4 are the PKC phosphorylation sites.
Project description:Various antidepressants are commonly used for the treatment of depression and several other neuropsychiatric disorders. In addition to their primary effects on serotonergic or noradrenergic neurotransmitter systems, antidepressants have been shown to interact with several receptors and ion channels. However, the molecular mechanisms that underlie the effects of antidepressants have not yet been sufficiently clarified. G protein-activated inwardly rectifying K(+) (GIRK, Kir3) channels play an important role in regulating neuronal excitability and heart rate, and GIRK channel modulation has been suggested to have therapeutic potential for several neuropsychiatric disorders and cardiac arrhythmias. In the present study, we investigated the effects of various classes of antidepressants on GIRK channels using the Xenopus oocyte expression assay. In oocytes injected with mRNA for GIRK1/GIRK2 or GIRK1/GIRK4 subunits, extracellular application of sertraline, duloxetine, and amoxapine effectively reduced GIRK currents, whereas nefazodone, venlafaxine, mianserin, and mirtazapine weakly inhibited GIRK currents even at toxic levels. The inhibitory effects were concentration-dependent, with various degrees of potency and effectiveness. Furthermore, the effects of sertraline were voltage-independent and time-independent during each voltage pulse, whereas the effects of duloxetine were voltage-dependent with weaker inhibition with negative membrane potentials and time-dependent with a gradual decrease in each voltage pulse. However, Kir2.1 channels were insensitive to all of the drugs. Moreover, the GIRK currents induced by ethanol were inhibited by sertraline but not by intracellularly applied sertraline. The present results suggest that GIRK channel inhibition may reveal a novel characteristic of the commonly used antidepressants, particularly sertraline, and contributes to some of the therapeutic effects and adverse effects.
Project description:Recurrent high-frequency epileptic seizures cause progressive hippocampal sclerosis, which is associated with caspase-3 activation and NMDA receptor-dependent excitotoxicity. However, the identity of caspase-3 substrates that contribute to seizure-induced hippocampal atrophy remains largely unknown. Here, we show that prolonged high-frequency epileptiform discharges in cultured hippocampal neurons leads to caspase-dependent cleavage of GIRK1 and GIRK2, the major subunits of neuronal G protein-activated inwardly rectifying potassium (GIRK) channels that mediate membrane hyperpolarization and synaptic inhibition in the brain. We have identified caspase-3 cleavage sites in GIRK1 (387ECLD390) and GIRK2 (349YEVD352). The YEVD motif is highly conserved in GIRK2-4, and located within their C-terminal binding sites for G?? proteins that mediate membrane-delimited GIRK activation. Indeed, the cleaved GIRK2 displays reduced binding to G?? and cannot coassemble with GIRK1. Loss of an ER export motif upon cleavage of GIRK2 abolishes surface and current expression of GIRK2 homotetramic channels. Lastly, kainate-induced status epilepticus causes GIRK1 and GIRK2 cleavage in the hippocampus in vivo. Our findings are the first to show direct cleavage of GIRK1 and GIRK2 subunits by caspase-3, and suggest the possible role of caspase-3 mediated down-regulation of GIRK channel function and expression in hippocampal neuronal injury during prolonged epileptic seizures.
Project description:Increased nociceptive neuronal excitability underlies chronic pain conditions. Various ion channels, including sodium, calcium and potassium channels have pivotal roles in the control of neuronal excitability. The members of the family of G protein-gated inwardly rectifying potassium (GIRK) channels, GIRK1-4, have been implicated in modulating excitability. Here, we investigated the expression and distribution of GIRK1 and GIRK2 in normal and injured dorsal root ganglia (DRGs) and spinal cord of rats.We found that ~70% of the DRG neurons expressed GIRK1, while only <10% expressed GIRK2. The neurochemical profiles of GIRK1- and GIRK2-immunoreactive neurons were characterized using the neuronal markers calcitonin gene-related peptide, isolectin-B4 and neurofilament-200, and the calcium-binding proteins calbindin D28k, calretinin, parvalbumin and secretagogin. Both GIRK subunits were expressed in DRG neurons with nociceptive characteristics. However, while GIRK1 was widely expressed in several sensory neuronal subtypes, GIRK2 was detected mainly in a group of small C-fiber neurons. In the spinal dorsal horn, GIRK1- and -2-positive cell bodies and processes were mainly observed in lamina II, but also in superficial and deeper layers. Abundant GIRK1-, but not GIRK2-like immunoreactivity, was found in the ventral horn (laminae VI-X). Fourteen days after axotomy, GIRK1 and GIRK2 were down-regulated in DRG neurons at the mRNA and protein levels. Both after axotomy and rhizotomy there was a reduction of GIRK1- and -2-positive processes in the dorsal horn, suggesting a presynaptic localization of these potassium channels. Furthermore, nerve ligation caused accumulation of both subunits on both sides of the lesion, providing evidence for anterograde and retrograde fast axonal transport.Our data support the hypothesis that reduced GIRK function is associated with increased neuronal excitability and causes sensory disturbances in post-injury conditions, including neuropathic pain.
Project description:G protein-gated inwardly-rectifying K(+) (GIRK/family 3 of inwardly-rectifying K(+) ) channels are coupled to neurotransmitter action and can play important roles in modulating neuronal excitability. We investigated the temporal and spatial expression of GIRK1, GIRK2 and GIRK3 subunits in the developing and adult brain of mice and rats using biochemical, immunohistochemical and immunoelectron microscopic techniques. At all ages analysed, the overall distribution patterns of GIRK1-3 were very similar, with high expression levels in the neocortex, cerebellum, hippocampus and thalamus. Focusing on the hippocampus, histoblotting and immunohistochemistry showed that GIRK1-3 protein levels increased with age, and this was accompanied by a shift in the subcellular localization of the subunits. Early in development (postnatal day 5), GIRK subunits were predominantly localized to the endoplasmic reticulum in the pyramidal cells, but by postnatal day 60 they were mostly found along the plasma membrane. During development, GIRK1 and GIRK2 were found primarily at postsynaptic sites, whereas GIRK3 was predominantly detected at presynaptic sites. In addition, GIRK1 and GIRK2 expression on the spine plasma membrane showed identical proximal-to-distal gradients that differed from GIRK3 distribution. Furthermore, although GIRK1 was never found within the postsynaptic density (PSD), the level of GIRK2 in the PSD progressively increased and GIRK3 did not change in the PSD during development. Together, these findings shed new light on the developmental regulation and subcellular diversity of neuronal GIRK channels, and support the contention that distinct subpopulations of GIRK channels exert separable influences on neuronal excitability. The ability to selectively target specific subpopulations of GIRK channels may prove effective in the treatment of disorders of excitability.
Project description:To investigate the effects of adenosine on endogenous Xenopus oocyte receptors, we analysed defolliculated oocytes injected with mRNAs for the G protein-activated inwardly rectifying K(+) (GIRK) channels. In oocytes injected with mRNAs for either GIRK1/GIRK2 or GIRK1/GIRK4 subunits, application of adenosine or ATP reversibly induced inward K(+) currents, although ATP was less potent than adenosine. The responses were attenuated by caffeine, a non-selective adenosine receptor antagonist. Furthermore, in uninjected oocytes from the same donor, adenosine produced no significant current. The endogenous receptor was activated by two selective A(1) adenosine receptor agonists, N(6)-cyclopentyladenosine (CPA) and N(6)-cyclohexyladenosine (CHA), and antagonized by a selective A(1) adenosine receptor antagonist, 1,3-dipropyl-8-cyclopenylxanthine (DPCPX) at moderate nanomolar concentrations, but insensitive to micromolar concentrations of selective A(2A) and A(3) adenosine receptor agonists, 2-[p-(2-carbonyl-ethyl)-phenylethylamino]-5'-N-ethylcarboxamidoadenosine (CGS21680) and N(6)-(3-iodobenzyl)-5'-(N-methylcarbamoyl)adenosine (IB-MECA), respectively. However, the pharmacological characteristics of the receptor were different from those of the cloned Xenopus A(1) adenosine receptor and previously proposed adenosine receptors. The adenosine-induced GIRK currents were abolished by injection of pertussis toxin and CPA inhibited forskolin-stimulated cyclic AMP accumulation. We conclude that an adenosine receptor on the Xenopus oocyte membrane can activate GIRK channels and inhibit adenylyl cyclase via G(i/o) proteins. Moreover, our results suggest the existence of an endogenous adenosine receptor with the unique pharmacological characteristics. As the receptor was activated by nanomolar concentrations of adenosine, which is a normal constituent of extracellular fluid, the receptor may be involved in some effects through the G(i/o) protein signalling pathways in ovarian physiology.