[¹?F]FE@SNAP-A new PET tracer for the melanin concentrating hormone receptor 1 (MCHR1): microfluidic and vessel-based approaches.
ABSTRACT: Changes in the expression of the melanin concentrating hormone receptor 1 (MCHR1) are involved in a variety of pathologies, especially obesity and anxiety disorders. To monitor these pathologies in-vivo positron emission tomography (PET) is a suitable method. After the successful radiosynthesis of [(11)C]SNAP-7941-the first PET-Tracer for the MCHR1, we aimed to synthesize its [(18)F]fluoroethylated analogue: [(18)F]FE@SNAP. Therefore, microfluidic and vessel-based approaches were tested. [(18)F]fluoroethylation was conducted via various [(18)F]fluoroalkylated synthons and direct [(18)F]fluorination. Only the direct [(18)F]fluorination of a tosylated precursor using a flow-through microreactor was successful, affording [(18)F]FE@SNAP in 44.3 ± 2.6%.
Project description:[11C]SNAP-7941 and its radiofluorinated, fluoro-ethyl derivative [18F]FE@SNAP have been developed as the first positron emission tomography tracers for melanin-concentrating hormone receptor 1 (MCHR1) imaging. Accumulation of these MCHR1 PET-tracers in rat brown adipose tissue (BAT) in vivo provided first indication of MCHR1 expression in rodent BAT. To rule out off-target binding, affinity of both MCHR1 ligands toward adrenergic beta-3 receptors (ADRB3) was examined. Further, specific binding of [11C]SNAP-7941 to brown adipocytes and effects of MCHR1 ligands on brown adipocyte activation were investigated. SNAP-7941 and FE@SNAP evinced to be highly selective toward MCHR1. [11C]SNAP-7941 binding to brown adipocytes was shown to be mainly MCHR1-specific. This data strongly indicates MCHR1 expression in rodent BAT and moreover, a peripheral, anti-obesity effect of MCHR1 antagonists directly exerted in BAT is proposed. Moreover, MCHR1 expression in murine brown adipocytes was confirmed by protein and mRNA analysis. We conclude that MCHR1 PET imaging contributes to basic research in endocrinology by elucidating the involvement of the MCH system in peripheral tissues, such as BAT.
Project description:The MCHR1 is involved in the regulation of energy homeostasis and changes of the expression are linked to a variety of associated diseases, such as diabetes and adiposity. The study aimed at the in vitro and in vivo evaluation of [11C]SNAP-7941 and [18F]FE@SNAP as potential PET-tracers for the MCHR1. Competitive binding studies with non-radioactive derivatives and small-animal PET/CT and MRI brain studies were performed under baseline conditions and tracer displacement with the unlabelled MCHR1 antagonist (±)-SNAP-7941. Binding studies evinced high binding affinity of the non-radioactive derivatives. Small-animal imaging of [11C]SNAP-7941 and [18F]FE@SNAP evinced high tracer uptake in MCHR1-rich regions of the ventricular system. Quantitative analysis depicted a significant tracer reduction after displacement with (±)-SNAP-7941. Due to the high binding affinity of the non-labelled derivatives and the high specific tracer uptake of [11C]SNAP-7941 and [18F]FE@SNAP, there is strong evidence that both radiotracers may serve as highly suitable agents for specific MCHR1 imaging.
Project description:The melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) receptor type 1 (MCHR1) is a seven-transmembrane domain protein that modulates orexigenic activity of MCH, the corresponding endogenous peptide agonist. MCH antagonists are being explored as a potential treatment for obesity. In the current study, we examined the pharmacological impact of 11 naturally occurring mutations in the human MCHR1. Wild-type and mutant receptors were transiently expressed in human embryonic kidney 293 cells. MCHR1-mediated, G?(i)-dependent signaling was monitored by using luciferase reporter gene assays. Two mutants, R210H and P377S, failed to respond to MCH. Five other variants showed significant alterations in MCH efficacy, ranging from 44 to 142% of the wild-type value. At each of the MCH-responsive mutants, agonist potency and inhibition by (S)-methyl 3-((3-(4-(3-acetamidophenyl)piperidin-1-yl)propyl)carbamoyl)-4-(3,4-difluorophenyl)-6-(methoxymethyl)-2-oxo-1,2,3,4-tetrahydropyrimidine-5-carboxylate (SNAP-7941), an established MCHR1 small-molecule antagonist, were similar to wild type. To explore the basis for inactivity of the R210H and P377S mutants, we examined expression levels of these receptors. Assessment by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay revealed that cell surface expression of both nonfunctional receptors was comparable with wild type. Overnight treatment with SNAP-7941, followed by washout of antagonist, enhanced MCH induced signaling by the wild-type receptor and restored MCH responsiveness of the P377S but not the R210H variant. It is of note that the two loss-of-function mutants were identified in markedly underweight individuals, raising the possibility that a lean phenotype may be linked to deficient MCHR1 signaling. Formal association studies with larger cohorts are needed to explore the extent to which signaling-deficient MCHR1 variants influence the maintenance of body weight.
Project description:Type II topoisomerase (Topo-II) is an ATP-dependent enzyme that is essential in the transcription, replication, and chromosome segregation processes and, as such, represents an attractive target for cancer therapy. Numerous studies indicate that the response to treatment with Topo-II inhibitors is highly dependent on both the levels and the activity of the enzyme. Consequently, a non-invasive assay to measure tumoral Topo-II levels has the potential to differentiate responders from non-responders. With the ultimate goal of developing a radiofluorinated tracer for positron emission tomography (PET) imaging, we have designed, synthesized, and evaluated a set of fluorinated compounds based on the structure of the ATP-competitive Topo-II inhibitor QAP1. Compounds 18 and 19b showed inhibition of Topo-II in in vitro assays and exhibited moderate, Topo-II level dependent cytotoxicity in SK-BR-3 and MCF-7 cell lines. Based on these results, (18)F-labeled analogs of these two compounds were synthesized and evaluated as PET probes for imaging Topo-II overexpression in mice bearing SK-BR-3 xenografts. [(18)F]-18 and [(18)F]-19b were synthesized from their corresponding protected tosylated derivatives by fluorination and subsequent deprotection. Small animal PET imaging studies indicated that both compounds do not accumulate in tumors and exhibit poor pharmacokinetics, clearing from the blood pool very rapidly and getting metabolized over. The insights gained from the current study will surely aid in the design and construction of future generations of PET agents for the non-invasive delineation of Topo-II expression.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Melanin-concentrating hormone receptor 1 (MCHR1) plays a significant role in regulation of energy balance, food intake, physical activity and body weight in humans and rodents. Several association studies for human obesity showed contrary results concerning the SNPs rs133072 (G/A) and rs133073 (T/C), which localize to the first exon of MCHR1. The variations constitute two main haplotypes (GT, AC). Both SNPs affect CpG dinucleotides, whereby each haplotype contains a potential methylation site at one of the two SNP positions. In addition, 15 CpGs in close vicinity of these SNPs constitute a weak CpG island. Here, we studied whether DNA methylation in this sequence context may contribute to population- and age-specific effects of MCHR1 alleles in obesity. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We analyzed DNA methylation of a 315 bp region of MCHR1 encompassing rs133072 and rs133073 and the CpG island in blood samples of 49 individuals by bisulfite sequencing. The AC haplotype shows a significantly higher methylation level than the GT haplotype. This allele-specific methylation is age-dependent. In young individuals (20-30 years) the difference in DNA methylation between haplotypes is significant; whereas in individuals older than 60 years it is not detectable. Interestingly, the GT allele shows a decrease in methylation status with increasing BMI, whereas the methylation of the AC allele is not associated with this phenotype. Heterozygous lymphoblastoid cell lines show the same pattern of allele-specific DNA methylation. The cell line, which exhibits the highest difference in methylation levels between both haplotypes, also shows allele-specific transcription of MCHR1, which can be abolished by treatment with the DNA methylase inhibitor 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine. CONCLUSIONS: We show that DNA methylation at MCHR1 is allele-specific, age-dependent, BMI-associated and affects transcription. Conceivably, this epigenetic regulation contributes to the age- and/or population specific effects reported for MCHR1 in several human obesity studies.
Project description:Melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) regulates food intake through activation of the receptor, MCHR1. We have identified AMG 076 as an orally bioavailable potent and selective small molecule antagonist of MCHR1. In mouse models of obesity, AMG 076 caused a reduction in body weight gain in wild-type (MCHR1+/+) but not in knockout (MCHR1-/-) mice. The body weight reduction was associated with decreases in food intake and increases in energy expenditure. Importantly, we show that these MCHR1-dependent effects of AMG 076 were also reflected in improved metabolic phenotypes, increased glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. Preliminary data on effects of AMG 076 in obese cynomolgus monkeys are also presented.
Project description:Several encouraging pre-clinical results highlight the melanin-concentrating hormone receptor 1 (MCHR1) as promising target for anti-obesity drug development. Currently however, experimentally resolved structures of MCHR1 are not available, which complicates rational drug design campaigns. In this study, we aimed at developing accurate, homologymodel-based 3D pharmacophores against MCHR1. We show that traditional approaches involving docking of known active small molecules are hindered by the flexibility of binding pocket residues. Instead, we derived three-dimensional pharmacophores from molecular dynamics simulations by employing our novel open-source software PyRod. In a retrospective evaluation, the generated 3D pharmacophores were highly predictive returning up to 35?% of active molecules and showing an early enrichment (EF1) of up to 27.6. Furthermore, PyRod pharmacophores demonstrate higher sensitivity than ligand-based pharmacophores and deliver structural insights, which are key to rational lead optimization.
Project description:We identified several differentially expressed genes in dermal fibroblasts from patients with SSc compared to their healthy twins, including the upregulation of MCHR1 in SSc fibroblasts. We also uncovered MCHR1 as a hub gene with the highest centrality degree in the network analysis, suggesting important biological role. We identified PDGF as the pro-fibrotic growth factor that increases MCHR1 levels. We further determine that PDGF induction of dermal fibroblast activation and pro-fibrotic factor production is mediating by MCHR1 using silencing and chemical inhibition of MCHR1. Overall design: Compare the expression profiling of primary human skin fibroblasts from healthy donors transfected with siRNA to silence MCHR1 with PDGFBB or vehicle treatment
Project description:Melanin concentrating hormone receptor 1 (MCHR1), a crucial regulator of energy homeostasis involved in the control of feeding and energy metabolism, is a promising target for treatment of obesity. In the present work, the up-to-date largest set of 181 quinoline/quinazoline derivatives as MCHR1 antagonists was subjected to both ligand- and receptor-based three-dimensional quantitative structure-activity (3D-QSAR) analysis applying comparative molecular field analysis (CoMFA) and comparative molecular similarity indices analysis (CoMSIA). The optimal predictable CoMSIA model exhibited significant validity with the cross-validated correlation coefficient (Q²) = 0.509, non-cross-validated correlation coefficient (R²(ncv)) = 0.841 and the predicted correlation coefficient (R²(pred)) = 0.745. In addition, docking studies and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations were carried out for further elucidation of the binding modes of MCHR1 antagonists. MD simulations in both water and lipid bilayer systems were performed. We hope that the obtained models and information may help to provide an insight into the interaction mechanism of MCHR1 antagonists and facilitate the design and optimization of novel antagonists as anti-obesity agents.
Project description:The unnatural isotope fluorine-18 ((18)F) is used as a positron emitter in molecular imaging. Currently, many potentially useful (18)F-labeled probe molecules are inaccessible for imaging because no fluorination chemistry is available to make them. The 110-minute half-life of (18)F requires rapid syntheses for which [(18)F]fluoride is the preferred source of fluorine because of its practical access and suitable isotope enrichment. However, conventional [(18)F]fluoride chemistry has been limited to nucleophilic fluorination reactions. We report the development of a palladium-based electrophilic fluorination reagent derived from fluoride and its application to the synthesis of aromatic (18)F-labeled molecules via late-stage fluorination. Late-stage fluorination enables the synthesis of conventionally unavailable positron emission tomography (PET) tracers for anticipated applications in pharmaceutical development as well as preclinical and clinical PET imaging.