Novel Electrophilic and Photoaffinity Covalent Probes for Mapping the Cannabinoid 1 Receptor Allosteric Site(s).
ABSTRACT: Undesirable side effects associated with orthosteric agonists/antagonists of cannabinoid 1 receptor (CB1R), a tractable target for treating several pathologies affecting humans, have greatly limited their translational potential. Recent discovery of CB1R negative allosteric modulators (NAMs) has renewed interest in CB1R by offering a potentially safer therapeutic avenue. To elucidate the CB1R allosteric binding motif and thereby facilitate rational drug discovery, we report the synthesis and biochemical characterization of first covalent ligands designed to bind irreversibly to the CB1R allosteric site. Either an electrophilic or a photoactivatable group was introduced at key positions of two classical CB1R NAMs: Org27569 (1) and PSNCBAM-1 (2). Among these, 20 (GAT100) emerged as the most potent NAM in functional assays, did not exhibit inverse agonism, and behaved as a robust positive allosteric modulator of binding of orthosteric agonist CP55,940. This novel covalent probe can serve as a useful tool for characterizing CB1R allosteric ligand-binding motifs.
Project description:One of the most abundant G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) in brain, the cannabinoid 1 receptor (CB1R), is a tractable therapeutic target for treating diverse psychobehavioral and somatic disorders. Adverse on-target effects associated with small-molecule CB1R orthosteric agonists and inverse agonists/antagonists have plagued their translational potential. Allosteric CB1R modulators offer a potentially safer modality through which CB1R signaling may be directed for therapeutic benefit. Rational design of candidate, druglike CB1R allosteric modulators requires greater understanding of the architecture of the CB1R allosteric endodomain(s) and the capacity of CB1R allosteric ligands to tune the receptor's information output. We have recently reported the synthesis of a focused library of rationally designed, covalent analogues of Org27569 and PSNCBAM-1, two prototypic CB1R negative allosteric modulators (NAMs). Among the novel, pharmacologically active CB1R NAMs reported, the isothiocyanate GAT100 emerged as the lead by virtue of its exceptional potency in the [(35)S]GTP?S and ?-arrestin signaling assays and its ability to label CB1R as a covalent allosteric probe with significantly reduced inverse agonism in the [(35)S]GTP?S assay as compared to Org27569. We report here a comprehensive functional profiling of GAT100 across an array of important downstream cell-signaling pathways and analysis of its potential orthosteric probe-dependence and signaling bias. The results demonstrate that GAT100 is a NAM of the orthosteric CB1R agonist CP55,940 and the endocannabinoids 2-arachidonoylglycerol and anandamide for ?-arrestin1 recruitment, PLC?3 and ERK1/2 phosphorylation, cAMP accumulation, and CB1R internalization in HEK293A cells overexpressing CB1R and in Neuro2a and STHdh(Q7/Q7) cells endogenously expressing CB1R. Distinctively, GAT100 was a more potent and efficacious CB1R NAM than Org27569 and PSNCBAM-1 in all signaling assays and did not exhibit the inverse agonism associated with Org27569 and PSNCBAM-1. Computational docking studies implicate C7.38(382) as a key feature of GAT100 ligand-binding motif. These data help inform the engineering of newer-generation, druggable CB1R allosteric modulators and demonstrate the utility of GAT100 as a covalent probe for mapping structure-function correlates characteristic of the druggable CB1R allosteric space.
Project description:Allosteric modulators have attracted significant interest as an alternate strategy to modulate CB1 receptor signaling for therapeutic benefits that may avoid the adverse effects associated with orthosteric ligands. Here we extended our previous structure-activity relationship studies on the diarylurea-based CB1 negative allosteric modulators (NAMs) by introducing five-membered heterocycles to replace the 5-pyrrolidinylpyridinyl group in PSNCBAM-1 (1), one of the first generation CB1 allosteric modulators. Many of these compounds had comparable potency to 1 in blocking the CB1 agonist CP55,940 stimulated calcium mobilization and [35S]GTP-?-S binding. Similar to 1, most compounds showed positive cooperativity by increasing [3H]CP55,940 binding, consistent with the positive allosteric modulator (PAM)-antagonist mechanism. Interestingly, these compounds exhibited differences in ability to increase specific binding of [3H]CP55,940 and decrease binding of the antagonist [3H]SR141716. In saturation binding studies, only increases in [3H]CP55,940 Bmax, but not Kd, were observed, suggesting that these compounds stabilize low affinity receptors into a high affinity state. Among the series, the 2-pyrrolyl analogue (13) exhibited greater potency than 1 in the [35S]GTP-?-S binding assay and significantly enhanced the maximum binding level in the [3H]CP5,5940 binding assay, indicating greater CB1 receptor affinity and/or cooperativity.
Project description:The cannabinoid 1 (CB1) allosteric modulator, 5-chloro-3-ethyl-1H-indole-2-carboxylic acid [2-(4-piperidin-1-yl-phenyl)-ethyl]-amide) (ORG27569), has the paradoxical effect of increasing the equilibrium binding of [(3)H](-)-3-[2-hydroxyl-4-(1,1-dimethylheptyl)phenyl]-4-[3-hydroxylpropyl]cyclohexan-1-ol (CP55,940, an orthosteric agonist) while at the same time decreasing its efficacy (in G protein-mediated signaling). ORG27569 also decreases basal signaling, acting as an inverse agonist for the G protein-mediated signaling pathway. In ligand displacement assays, ORG27569 can displace the CB1 antagonist/inverse agonist, N-(piperidiny-1-yl)-5-(4-chlorophenyl)-1-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-4-methyl-1H-pyrazole-3-carboxamide(SR141716A). The goal of this work was to identify the binding site of ORG27569 at CB1. To this end, we used computation, synthesis, mutation, and functional studies to identify the ORG27569-binding site in the CB1 TMH3-6-7 region. This site is consistent with the results of K3.28(192)A, F3.36(200)A, W5.43(279)A, W6.48(356)A, and F3.25(189)A mutation studies, which revealed the ORG27569-binding site overlaps with our previously determined binding site of SR141716A but extends extracellularly. Additionally, we identified a key electrostatic interaction between the ORG27569 piperidine ring nitrogen and K3.28(192) that is important for ORG27569 to act as an inverse agonist. At this allosteric site, ORG27569 promotes an intermediate conformation of the CB1 receptor, explaining ORG27569's ability to increase equilibrium binding of CP55,940. This site also explains ORG27569's ability to antagonize the efficacy of CP55,940 in three complementary ways. 1) ORG27569 sterically blocks movements of the second extracellular loop that have been linked to receptor activation. 2) ORG27569 sterically blocks a key electrostatic interaction between the third extracellular loop residue Lys-373 and D2.63(176). 3) ORG27569 packs against TMH6, sterically hindering movements of this helix that have been shown to be important for receptor activation.
Project description:The allosteric modulator 1-(4-chlorophenyl)-3-(3-(6-(pyrrolidin-1-yl)pyridin-2-yl)phenyl)urea (PSNCBAM-1, 2) bound the cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) and antagonized G protein coupling. This compound demonstrated potent anorectic effects similar to the CB1 antagonist rimonabant that once was marketed for the treatment of obesity, suggesting a new chemical entity for the discovery of antiobesity drugs. To increase structural diversity of this class of CB1 ligands, we designed and synthesized two classes of novel analogues, in which the pyridine ring of 2 was replaced by a pyrimidine ring. These positively modulate the binding of the CB1 orthosteric agonist CP55,940 while exhibiting an antagonism of G-protein coupling activity. Interestingly, compounds 7d and 8d demonstrated ERK1/2 phosphorylation mediated via ?-arrestin unlike the orthosteric CP55,940 that does so in a G protein-dependent manner. These can serve as new lead compounds for the future development of CB1 allosteric modulators that show biased agonism and potentially antiobesity behavior via a new mechanism.
Project description:Selective activation of the cannabinoid receptor subtype 2 (CB2) shows promise for treating pain, inflammation, multiple sclerosis, cancer, ischemic/reperfusion injury and osteoporosis. Target selectivity and off-target side effects are two major limiting factors for orthosteric ligands, and therefore, the search for allosteric modulators (AMs) is a widely used drug discovery approach. To date, only a limited number of negative CB2 AMs have been identified, possessing only micromolar activity at best, and the CB2 receptor's allosteric site(s) are not well characterized. Herein, we used computational approaches including receptor modeling, site mapping, docking, molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and binding free energy calculations to predict, characterize and validate allosteric sites within the complex of the CB2 receptor with bound orthosteric agonist CP55,940. After docking of known negative CB2 allosteric modulators (NAMs), dihydro-gambogic acid (DHGA) and trans-?-caryophyllene (TBC) (note that TBC also shows agonist activity), at the predicted allosteric sites, the best total complex with CB2, CP55,940 and NAM was embedded into a hydrated lipid bilayer and subjected to a 200 ns MD simulation. The presence of an AM affected the CB2-CP55,940 complex, altering the relative positioning of the toggle switch residues and promoting a strong ?-? interaction between Phe1173.36 and Trp2586.48. Binding of either TBC or DHGA to a putative allosteric pocket directly adjacent to the orthosteric ligand reduced the binding free energy of CP55,940, which is consistent with the expected effect of a negative AM. The identified allosteric sites present immense scope for the discovery of novel classes of CB2 AMs.
Project description:Introduction and Objective: Org27569 is a prototypical allosteric modulator of the cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1). It belongs to the indole-2-carboxamide scaffold and has been intensively investigated in pharmacology and in structure-activity relationship (SAR) studies. Although azaindoles are rare in natural products and differ only by the presence of an extra ring nitrogen, they were demonstrated as valuable bioisosteres in many pharmacologically important molecules. To extend the SAR investigation of the indole-2-carboxamide class of CB1 allosteric modulators, azaindole (pyrrolopyridine) rings were used to replace the indole ring of Org27569 analogs to explore the potential of azaindole-2-carboxamides as CB1 allosteric modulators. Using 6- and 7-azaindole in lieu of the indole moiety within this class of CB1 allosteric modulators indeed improved the aqueous solubility. Materials and Methods: We synthesized 6- and 7-azaindole-2-carboxamides and their indole-2-carboxamide counterparts. The molecules were evaluated by [3H]CP55,940 binding and [35S]GTPγS binding assays for their allosteric modulation of the CB1 receptor. Results: The 7-azaindole-2-carboxamides lost the ability to bind to the CB1 receptor. The 6-azaindole-2-carboxamides (e.g., 3c and 3d) showed markedly reduced binding affinities to the CB1 receptor in comparison with their indole-2-carboxamide counterparts. However, they behaved similarly as indole-2-carboxamides in potentiating the orthosteric agonist binding and inhibiting the orthosteric agonist-induced G-protein coupling. The results indicated that some azaindole scaffolds (e.g., 6-azaindole) are worth further exploration, whereas the 7-azaindole ring is not a viable bioisostere of the indole ring in the Org27569 class of CB1 allosteric modulators.
Project description:Cannabinoid 1 receptor (CB1R) allosteric ligands hold a far-reaching therapeutic promise. We report the application of fluoro- and nitrogen-walk approaches to enhance the drug-like properties of GAT211, a prototype CB1R allosteric agonist-positive allosteric modulator (ago-PAM). Several analogs exhibited improved functional potency (cAMP, ?-arrestin 2), metabolic stability, and aqueous solubility. Two key analogs, GAT591 (6r) and GAT593 (6s), exhibited augmented allosteric-agonist and PAM activities in neuronal cultures, improved metabolic stability, and enhanced orthosteric agonist binding (CP55,940). Both analogs also exhibited good analgesic potency in the CFA inflammatory-pain model with longer duration of action over GAT211 while being devoid of adverse cannabimimetic effects. Another analog, GAT592 (9j), exhibited moderate ago-PAM potency and improved aqueous solubility with therapeutic reduction of intraocular pressure in murine glaucoma models. The SAR findings and the enhanced allosteric activity in this class of allosteric modulators were accounted for in our recently developed computational model for CB1R allosteric activation and positive allosteric modulation.
Project description:The recent discovery of allosteric modulators of the CB1 receptor including PSNCBAM-1 (4) has generated significant interest in CB1 receptor allosteric modulation. Here in the first SAR study on 4, we have designed and synthesized a series of analogs focusing on modifications at two positions. Pharmacological evaluation in calcium mobilization and binding assays revealed the importance of alkyl substitution at the 2-aminopyridine moiety and electron deficient aromatic groups at the 4-chlorophenyl position for activity at the CB1 receptor, resulting in several analogs with comparable potency to 4. These compounds increased the specific binding of [(3)H]CP55,940, in agreement with previous reports. Importantly, 4 and two analogs dose-dependently reduced the Emax of the agonist curve in the CB1 calcium mobilization assays, confirming their negative allosteric modulator characteristics. Given the side effects associated with CB1 receptor orthosteric antagonists, negative allosteric modulators provide an alternative approach to modulate the pharmacologically important CB1 receptor.
Project description:Rimonabant (Acomplia, SR141716A), a cannabinoid CB1 receptor inverse agonist, has recently been approved for the treatment of obesity. There are, however, concerns regarding its side effect profile. Developing a CB1 antagonist with a different pharmacological mechanism may lead to a safer alternative. To this end we have screened a proprietary small molecule library and have discovered a novel class of allosteric antagonist at CB1 receptors. Herein, we have characterized an optimized prototypical molecule, PSNCBAM-1, and its hypophagic effects in vivo.A CB1 yeast reporter assay was used as a primary screen. PSNCBAM-1 was additionally characterized in [35S]-GTPgammaS, cAMP and radioligand binding assays. An acute rat feeding model was used to evaluate its effects on food intake and body weight in vivo.In CB1 receptor yeast reporter assays, PSNCBAM-1 blocked the effects induced by agonists such as CP55,940, WIN55212-2, anandamide (AEA) or 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG). The antagonist characteristics of PSNCBAM-1 were confirmed in [35S]-GTPgammaS binding and cAMP assays and was shown to be non-competitive by Schild analyses. PSNCBAM-1 did not affect CB2 receptors. In radioligand binding assays, PSNCBAM-1 increased the binding of [3H]CP55,940 despite its antagonist effects. In an acute rat feeding model, PSNCBAM-1 decreased food intake and body weight.PSNCBAM-1 exerted its effects through selective allosteric modulation of the CB1 receptor. The acute effects on food intake and body weight induced in rats provide a first report of in vivo activity for an allosteric CB1 receptor antagonist.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:We sought to understand why (-)-cannabidiol (CBD) and (-)-cannabidiol-dimethylheptyl (CBD-DMH) exhibit distinct pharmacology, despite near identical structures. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH:HEK293A cells expressing either human type 1 cannabinoid (CB1 ) receptors or CB2 receptors were treated with CBD or CBD-DMH with or without the CB1 and CB2 receptor agonist CP55,940, CB1 receptor allosteric modulator Org27569 or CB2 receptor inverse agonist SR144528. Ligand binding, cAMP levels and ?arrestin1 recruitment were measured. CBD and CBD-DMH binding was simulated with models of human CB1 or CB2 receptors, based on the recently published crystal structures of agonist-bound (5XRA) or antagonist-bound (5TGZ) human CB1 receptors. KEY RESULTS:At CB1 receptors, CBD was a negative allosteric modulator (NAM), and CBD-DMH was a mixed agonist/positive allosteric modulator. CBD and Org27569 shared multiple interacting residues in the antagonist-bound model of CB1 receptors (5TGZ) but shared a binding site with CP55,940 in the agonist-bound model of CB1 receptors (5XRA). The binding site for CBD-DMH in the CB1 receptor models overlapped with CP55,940 and Org27569. At CB2 receptors, CBD was a partial agonist, and CBD-DMH was a positive allosteric modulator of cAMP modulation but a NAM of ?arrestin1 recruitment. CBD, CP55,940 and SR144528 shared a binding site in the CB2 receptor models that was separate from CBD-DMH. CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONS:The pharmacological activity of CBD and CBD-DMH in HEK293A cells and their modelled binding sites at CB1 and CB2 receptors may explain their in vivo effects and illuminates the difficulties associated with the development of allosteric modulators for CB1 and CB2 receptors. LINKED ARTICLES:This article is part of a themed section on 8th European Workshop on Cannabinoid Research. To view the other articles in this section visit http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bph.v176.10/issuetoc.