Discovery, synthesis and structure-activity analysis of symmetrical 2,7-disubstituted fluorenones as urea transporter inhibitors.
ABSTRACT: Kidney urea transporters are targets for development of small-molecule inhibitors with action as salt-sparing diuretics. A cell-based, functional high-throughput screen identified 2,7-bisacetamido fluorenone 3 as a novel inhibitor of urea transporters UT-A1 and UT-B. Here, we synthesized twenty-two 2,7-disubstituted fluorenone analogs by acylation. Structure-activity relationship analysis revealed: (a) the carbonyl moiety at C9 is required for UT inhibition; (b) steric limitation on C2, 7-substituents; and (c) the importance of a crescent-shape structure. The most potent fluorenones inhibited UT-A1 and UT-B urea transport with IC50 ~ 1 ?M. Analysis of in vitro metabolic stability in hepatic microsomes indicated metabolism of 2,7-disubstituted fluorenones by reductase and subsequent elimination. Computational docking to a homology model of UT-A1 suggested UT inhibitor binding to the UT cytoplasmic domain at a site that does not overlap with the putative urea binding site.
Project description:We designed and synthesized a donor-acceptor-donor dye consisting of a 2,7-disubstituted fluorenone with diethylaminophenyl moieties present as strong electron donating groups. Switching between twisted intramolecular charge transfer (TICT) emission and excimer emission was achieved, with no ground state changes, by simply changing the solvent used. In a nonpolar solvent, excimer emission was observed; with increasing polarity, the emission gradually disappeared, and the TICT emission appeared.
Project description:To investigate the role of inner medullary collecting duct (IMCD) urea transporters in the renal concentrating mechanism, we deleted 3 kb of the UT-A urea transporter gene containing a single 140-bp exon (exon 10). Deletion of this segment selectively disrupted expression of the two known IMCD isoforms of UT-A, namely UT-A1 and UT-A3, producing UT-A1/3(-/-) mice. In isolated perfused IMCDs from UT-A1/3(-/-) mice, there was a complete absence of phloretin-sensitive or vasopressin-stimulated urea transport. On a normal protein intake (20% protein diet), UT-A1/3(-/-) mice had significantly greater fluid consumption and urine flow and a reduced maximal urinary osmolality relative to wild-type controls. These differences in urinary concentrating capacity were nearly eliminated when urea excretion was decreased by dietary protein restriction (4% by weight), consistent with the 1958 Berliner hypothesis stating that the chief role of IMCD urea transport in the concentrating mechanism is the prevention of urea-induced osmotic diuresis. Analysis of inner medullary tissue after water restriction revealed marked depletion of urea in UT-A1/3(-/-) mice, confirming the concept that phloretin-sensitive IMCD urea transporters play a central role in medullary urea accumulation. However, there were no significant differences in mean inner medullary Na(+) or Cl(-) concentrations between UT-A1/3(-/-) mice and wild-type controls, indicating that the processes that concentrate NaCl were intact. Thus, these results do not corroborate the predictions of passive medullary concentrating models stating that NaCl accumulation in the inner medulla depends on rapid vasopressin-regulated urea transport across the IMCD epithelium.
Project description:Inhibitors of kidney urea transporter (UT) proteins have potential use as salt-sparing diuretics ('urearetics') with a different mechanism of action than diuretics that target salt transporters. To study UT inhibition in rats, we screened about 10,000 drugs, natural products and urea analogs for inhibition of rat UT-A1. Drug and natural product screening found nicotine, sanguinarine and an indolcarbonylchromenone with IC50 of 10-20??M. Urea analog screening found methylacetamide and dimethylthiourea (DMTU). DMTU fully and reversibly inhibited rat UT-A1 and UT-B by a noncompetitive mechanism with IC50 of 2-3?mM. Homology modeling and docking computations suggested DMTU binding sites on rat UT-A1. Following a single intraperitoneal injection of 500?mg/kg DMTU, peak plasma concentration was 9?mM with t1/2 of about 10?h, and a urine concentration of 20-40?mM. Rats chronically treated with DMTU had a sustained, reversible reduction in urine osmolality from 1800 to 600 mOsm, a 3-fold increase in urine output, and mild hypokalemia. DMTU did not impair urinary concentrating function in rats on a low protein diet. Compared to furosemide-treated rats, the DMTU-treated rats had greater diuresis and reduced urinary salt loss. In a model of syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion, DMTU treatment prevented hyponatremia and water retention produced by water-loading in dDAVP-treated rats. Thus, our results establish a rat model of UT inhibition and demonstrate the diuretic efficacy of UT inhibition.
Project description:The urea transporter A1 (UT-A1) is a glycosylated protein with two glycoforms: 117 and 97 kD. In diabetes, the increased abundance of the heavily glycosylated 117-kD UT-A1 corresponds to an increase of kidney tubule urea permeability. We previously reported that diabetes not only causes an increase of UT-A1 protein abundance but also, results in UT-A1 glycan changes, including an increase of sialic acid content. Because activation of the diacylglycerol (DAG)-protein kinase C (PKC) pathway is elevated in diabetes and PKC-? regulates UT-A1 urea transport activity, we explored the role of PKC in UT-A1 glycan sialylation. We found that activation of PKC specifically promotes UT-A1 glycan sialylation in both UT-A1-MDCK cells and rat kidney inner medullary collecting duct suspensions, and inhibition of PKC activity blocks high glucose-induced UT-A1 sialylation. Overexpression of PKC-? promoted UT-A1 sialylation and membrane surface expression. Conversely, PKC-?-deficient mice had significantly less sialylated UT-A1 compared with wild-type mice. Furthermore, the effect of PKC-?-induced UT-A1 sialylation was mainly mediated by Src kinase but not Raf-1 kinase. Functionally, increased UT-A1 sialylation corresponded with enhanced urea transport activity. Thus, our results reveal a novel mechanism by which PKC regulates UT-A1 function by increasing glycan sialylation through Src kinase pathways, which may have an important role in preventing the osmotic diuresis caused by glucosuria under diabetic conditions.
Project description:Urea transporter (UT) proteins, including UT-A in kidney tubule epithelia and UT-B in vasa recta microvessels, facilitate urinary concentrating function. A screen for UT-A inhibitors was developed in MDCK cells expressing UT-A1, water channel aquaporin-1, and YFP-H148Q/V163S. An inwardly directed urea gradient produces cell shrinking followed by UT-A1-dependent swelling, which was monitored by YFP-H148Q/V163S fluorescence. Screening of ~90,000 synthetic small molecules yielded four classes of UT-A1 inhibitors with low micromolar half-maximal inhibitory concentration that fully and reversibly inhibited urea transport by a noncompetitive mechanism. Structure-activity analysis of >400 analogs revealed UT-A1-selective and UT-A1/UT-B nonselective inhibitors. Docking computations based on homology models of UT-A1 suggested inhibitor binding sites. UT-A inhibitors may be useful as diuretics ("urearetics") with a mechanism of action that may be effective in fluid-retaining conditions in which conventional salt transport-blocking diuretics have limited efficacy.
Project description:The UT-A1 urea transporter plays an important role in the urinary concentration mechanism. However, the molecular mechanisms regarding UT-A1 trafficking, endocytosis, and degradation are still unclear. In this study, we identified the small GTPase Rab14 as a binding partner to the C terminus of UT-A1 in a yeast 2-hybrid assay. Interestingly, UT-A1 binding is preferential for the GDP-bound inactive form of Rab14. Coinjection of Rab14 in Xenopus oocytes results in a decrease of UT-A1 urea transport activity, suggesting that Rab14 acts as a negative regulator of UT-A1. We subsequently found that Rab14 reduces the cell membrane expression of UT-A1, as evidenced by cell surface biotinylation. This effect is blocked by chlorpromazine, an inhibitor of the clathrin-mediated endocytic pathway, but not by filipin, an inhibitor of the caveolin-mediated endocytic pathway. In kidney, Rab14 is mainly expressed in IMCD epithelial cells with a pattern identical to UT-A1 expression. Consistent with its role in participating in clathrin-mediated endocytosis, Rab14 localizes in nonlipid raft microdomains and codistributes with Rab5, a marker of the clathrin-mediated endocytic pathway. Taken together, our study suggests that Rab14, as a novel UT-A1 partner, may have an important regulatory function for UT-A1 urea transport activity in the kidney inner medulla.
Project description:Urea transporter A (UT-A) isoforms encoded by the Slc14a2 gene are expressed in kidney tubule epithelial cells, where they facilitate urinary concentration. UT-A1 inhibition is predicted to produce a unique salt-sparing diuretic action in edema and hyponatremia. Here we report the discovery of 1,2,4-triazoloquinoxalines and the analysis of 37 synthesized analogues. The most potent compound, 8ay, containing 1,2,4-triazolo[4,3- a]quinoxaline-substituted benzenesulfonamide linked by an aryl ether, rapidly and reversibly inhibited UT-A1 urea transport by a noncompetitive mechanism with IC50 ? 150 nM; the IC50 was ?2 ?M for the related urea transporter UT-B encoded by the Slc14a1 gene. Molecular modeling suggested a putative binding site on the UT-A1 cytoplasmic domain. In vitro metabolism showing quinoxaline ring oxidation prompted the synthesis of metabolically stable 7,8-difluoroquinoxaline analogue 8bl, which when administered to rats produced marked diuresis and reduced urinary osmolality. 8bl has substantially improved UT-A1 inhibition potency and metabolic stability compared with prior compounds.
Project description:Conventional diuretics such as furosemide and thiazides target salt transporters in kidney tubules, but urea transporters (UTs) have emerged as alternative targets. UTs are a family of transmembrane channels expressed in a variety of mammalian tissues, in particular the kidney. UT knockout mice and humans with UT mutations exhibit reduced maximal urinary osmolality, demonstrating that UTs are necessary for the concentration of urine. Small-molecule screening has identified potent and selective inhibitors of UT-A, the UT protein expressed in renal tubule epithelial cells, and UT-B, the UT protein expressed in vasa recta endothelial cells. Data from UT knockout mice and from rodents administered UT inhibitors support the diuretic action of UT inhibition. The kidney-specific expression of UT-A1, together with high selectivity of the small-molecule inhibitors, means that off-target effects of such small-molecule drugs should be minimal. This Review summarizes the structure, expression and function of UTs, and looks at the evidence supporting the validity of UTs as targets for the development of salt-sparing diuretics with a unique mechanism of action. UT-targeted inhibitors may be useful alone or in combination with conventional diuretics for therapy of various oedemas and hyponatraemias, potentially including those refractory to treatment with current diuretics.
Project description:Urea transporter (UT)-A1 in the kidney inner medulla plays a critical role in the urinary concentrating mechanism and thereby in the regulation of water balance. The 14-3-3 proteins are a family of seven isoforms. They are multifunctional regulatory proteins that mainly bind to phosphorylated serine/threonine residues in target proteins. In the present study, we found that all seven 14-3-3 isoforms were detected in the kidney inner medulla. However, only the 14-3-3 ?-isoform was specifically and highly associated with UT-A1, as demonstrated by a glutathione-S-transferase-14-3-3 pulldown assay. The cAMP/adenylyl cyclase stimulator forskolin significantly enhanced their binding. Coinjection of 14-3-3? cRNA into oocytes resulted in a decrease of UT-A1 function. In addition, 14-3-3? increased UT-A1 ubiquitination and protein degradation. 14-3-3? can interact with both UT-A1 and mouse double minute 2, the E3 ubiquitin ligase for UT-A1. Thus, activation of cAMP/PKA increases 14-3-3? interactions with UT-A1 and stimulates mouse double minute 2-mediated UT-A1 ubiquitination and degradation, thereby forming a novel regulatory mechanism of urea transport activity.
Project description:Facilitative UT-B urea transporters enable the passage of urea across cell membranes. Gastrointestinal urea transporters are thought to play a significant role in the urea nitrogen salvaging process that occurs between mammalian hosts and their gut bacteria. This study investigated the expression of UT-B urea transporters in different segments of human colon. Immunoblot analysis showed that human colon expressed a 35-kDa glycosylated UT-B protein in the colonic mucosa. The 35-kDa UT-B transporter was predominantly located in plasma membrane-enriched samples (P < 0.001; n = 6), and its expression was greater in the ascending colon compared with the descending colon (P < 0.01; n = 3). At the cellular level, UT-B transporters were located throughout colonocytes situated in the upper portion of the colonic crypts. Bidirectional trans-epithelial urea transport was significantly greater in the ascending colon than the descending colon (P < 0.05; n = 6). In addition, the facilitative urea transporter inhibitor 1,3,dimethylurea significantly reduced urea transport in the ascending colon (P < 0.05; n = 6) but had no effect in the descending colon (NS; n = 6). These results illustrate differential protein abundance of functional UT-B protein in different sections of the human colon, strongly correlating to regions that contain the largest populations of intestinal bacteria. This study suggests an important role for UT-B urea transporters in maintaining the symbiotic relationship between humans and their gut bacteria.