All-Electronic Quantification of Neuropeptide-Receptor Interaction Using a Bias-Free Functionalized Graphene Microelectrode.
ABSTRACT: Opioid neuropeptides play a significant role in pain perception, appetite regulation, sleep, memory, and learning. Advances in understanding of opioid peptide physiology are held back by the lack of methodologies for real-time quantification of affinities and kinetics of the opioid neuropeptide-receptor interaction at levels typical of endogenous secretion (<50 pM) in biosolutions with physiological ionic strength. To address this challenge, we developed all-electronic opioid-neuropeptide biosensors based on graphene microelectrodes functionalized with a computationally redesigned water-soluble ?-opioid receptor. We used the functionalized microelectrode in a bias-free charge measurement configuration to measure the binding kinetics and equilibrium binding properties of the engineered receptor with [d-Ala2, N-MePhe4, Gly-ol]-enkephalin and ?-endorphin at picomolar levels in real time.
Project description:Our observations that opioid peptides have direct effects on islet insulin secretion and liver glucose production prompted a search for endogenous opiates and their receptors in these peripheral tissues. Mu-, delta- and kappa-receptor-active opiates were demonstrated in brain, pancreas and liver extracts by displacement studies using selective ligands for the three opiate receptor subtypes [( 3H][D-Ala2,MePhe4,Gly5-ol]enkephalin, [3H][D-Ala2,D-Leu5]enkephalin and [3H]dynorphin respectively). Receptor-active opiates in brain extracts exhibited a stronger preference for delta-opiate-receptor sites than for mu and kappa sites. Pancreatic extract opiates demonstrated a similar activity at mu and delta sites, but substantially less at kappa sites. Liver extracts displayed similar selectivity for all three sites. The affinities of the receptor-active opiates for mu-, delta- and kappa-receptor subtypes displayed a rank order of potency: brain much greater than pancreas greater than liver. Total immunoreactive beta-endorphin and [Met5]enkephalin levels in liver and hepatocytes were greater than those in brain. Immunoreactive [Met5]enkephalin levels in pancreas were similar to, but beta-endorphin levels were substantially higher than, those in brain. Delta and kappa opiate-binding sites of high affinity were identified in crude membrane preparations of islets of Langerhans, but no specific opiate-binding sites could be demonstrated in liver membrane preparations. Immunoreactive dynorphin and beta-endorphin were demonstrated by immunogold labelling in rat pancreatic islet cells. No positive staining of liver sections for opioids was observed. These results suggest that the tissue content of opiate-receptor-active compounds in the pancreas and the liver is very significant and could contribute to the regulation of normal blood glucose levels.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:Polymorphisms of the ? opioid receptor (MOPr) may contribute to the variation in responses to opioid drugs in clinical and unregulated situations. The A6V variant of MOPr (MOPr-A6V) is present in up to 20% of individuals in some populations, and may be associated with heightened susceptibility to drug abuse. There are no functional studies examining the acute signalling of MOPr-A6V?in vitro, so we investigated potential functional differences between MOPr and MOPr-A6V at several signalling pathways using structurally distinct opioid ligands. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH:CHO and AtT-20 cells stably expressing MOPr and MOPr-A6V were used. AC inhibition and ERK1/2 phosphorylation were assayed in CHO cells; K channel activation was assayed in AtT-20 cells. KEY RESULTS:Buprenorphine did not inhibit AC or stimulate ERK1/2 phosphorylation in CHO cells expressing MOPr-A6V, but buprenorphine activation of K channels in AtT-20 cells was preserved. [D-Ala2, N-MePhe4, Gly-ol]-enkephalin, morphine and ?-endorphin inhibition of AC was significantly reduced via MOPr-A6V, as was signalling of all opioids to ERK1/2. However, there was little effect of the A6V variant on K channel activation. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS:Signalling to AC and ERK via the mutant MOPr-A6V was decreased for many opioids, including the clinically significant drugs morphine, buprenorphine and fentanyl, as well endogenous opioids. The MOPr-A6V variant is common and this compromised signalling may affect individual responses to opioid therapy, while the possible disruption of the endogenous opioid system may contribute to susceptibility to substance abuse.
Project description:Compulsive overconsumption of reward characterizes disorders ranging from binge eating to drug addiction. Here, we provide evidence that enkephalin surges in an anteromedial quadrant of dorsal neostriatum contribute to generating intense consumption of palatable food. In ventral striatum, mu opioid circuitry contributes an important component of motivation to consume reward. In dorsal neostriatum, mu opioid receptors are concentrated within striosomes that receive inputs from limbic regions of prefrontal cortex. We employed advanced opioid microdialysis techniques that allow detection of extracellular enkephalin levels. Endogenous >150% enkephalin surges in anterior dorsomedial neostriatum were triggered as rats began to consume palatable chocolates. In contrast, dynorphin levels remained unchanged. Furthermore, a causal role for mu opioid stimulation in overconsumption was demonstrated by observations that microinjection in the same anterior dorsomedial quadrant of a mu receptor agonist ([D-Ala2, N-MePhe4, Gly-ol]-enkephalin; DAMGO) generated intense >250% increases in intake of palatable sweet food (without altering hedonic impact of sweet tastes). Mapping by "Fos plume" methods confirmed the hyperphagic effect to be anatomically localized to the anteromedial quadrant of the dorsal neostriatum, whereas other quadrants were relatively ineffective. These findings reveal that opioid signals in anteromedial dorsal neostriatum are able to code and cause motivation to consume sensory reward.
Project description:Opioids remain the gold standard for the treatment of moderate to severe pain. However, their analgesic properties come with important side effects, including pruritus, which occurs frequently after systemic or neuraxial administration. Although part of the opioid-induced itch is mediated centrally, recent evidence shows that the opioid receptor system in the skin also modulates itch. The goal of our study was to identify the peripherally located transducer mechanisms involved in opioid-induced pruritus. Scratching behaviors in response to an intradermal injection of the mu-opioid receptor (MOR) agonist [D-Ala2, N-MePhe4, Gly-ol]-enkephalin (DAMGO) was quantified in mast cell-, PAR2- and TRPV1-deficient mice or following ablation of TRPV1+ sensory neurons. We found that mast cells-/-, PAR-2-/-, or TRPV1-/- mice still exhibit DAMGO-induced itch responses. However, we show that ablation of TRPV1+ neurons or acute TRPV1 activation by capsaicin abolishes DAMGO-induced itch. Overall, our work shows that peripheral DAMGO-induced itch is dependent on the presence of TRPV1-expressing pruriceptors, but not the TRPV1 channel itself. Activation of these fibers by capsaicin prevents the opioid-induced itch.
Project description:The molecular evolution of the opioid receptor family has been studied by isolating cDNAs that encode six distinct opioid receptor-like proteins from a lower vertebrate, the teleost fish Catostomus commersoni. One of these, which has been obtained in full-length form, encodes a 383-amino acid protein that exhibits greatest sequence similarity to mammalian mu-opioid receptors; the corresponding gene is expressed predominantly in brain and pituitary. Transfection of the teleost cDNA into HEK 293 cells resulted in the appearance of a receptor having high affinity for the mu-selective agonist [D-Ala2, MePhe4-Gly-ol5]enkephalin (DAMGO) (Kd = 0.63 +/- 0.15 nM) and for the nonselective antagonist naloxone (Kd = 3.1 +/- 1.3 nM). The receptor had negligible affinity for U50488 and [D-Pen2, D-Pen5]enkephalin (DPDPE), which are kappa- and delta-opioid receptor selective agonists, respectively. Stimulation of transfected cells with 1 microM DAMGO lowered forskolin-induced cAMP levels, an effect that could be reversed by naloxone. Experiments in Xenopus oocytes have demonstrated that the fish opioid receptor can, in an agonist-dependent fashion, activate a coexpressed mouse G-protein-gated inward-rectifying potassium channel (GIRK1). The identification of six distinct fish opioid receptor-like proteins suggests that additional mammalian opioid receptors remain to be identified at the molecular level. Furthermore, our data indicate that the mu-opioid receptor arose very early in evolution, perhaps before the appearance of vertebrates, and that the pharmacological and functional properties of this receptor have been conserved over a period of approximately 400 million years implying that it fulfills an important physiological role.
Project description:The interplay between the dopamine (DA) and opioid systems in the brain is known to modulate the additive effects of substances of abuse. On one hand, opioids serve mankind by their analgesic properties, which are mediated via the mu opioid receptor (MOR), a Class A G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR), but on the other hand, they pose a potential threat by causing undesired side effects such as tolerance and dependence, for which the exact molecular mechanism is still unknown. Using human embryonic kidney 293T (HEK 293T) and HeLa cells transfected with MOR and the dopamine D2 receptor (D2R), we demonstrate that these receptors heterodimerize, using an array of biochemical and biophysical techniques such as coimmunoprecipitation (co-IP), bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET1), F?rster resonance energy transfer (FRET), and functional complementation of a split luciferase. Furthermore, live cell imaging revealed that D2LR, when coexpressed with MOR, slowed down internalization of MOR, following activation with the MOR agonist [D-Ala2, N-MePhe4, Gly-ol]-enkephalin (DAMGO).
Project description:Opioids and their receptors have an important role in analgesia and alcohol and substance use disorders (ASUD). We have identified several naturally occurring amino acid changing variants of the human mu-opioid receptor (MOR), and assessed the functional consequences of these previously undescribed variants in stably expressing cell lines. Several of these variants had altered trafficking and signaling properties. We found that an L85I variant showed significant internalization in response to morphine, in contrast to the WT MOR, which did not internalize in response to morphine. Also, when L85I and WT receptor were coexpressed, WT MOR internalized with the L85I MOR, suggesting that, in the heterozygous condition, the L85I phenotype would be dominant. This finding is potentially important, because receptor internalization has been associated with development of tolerance to opiate analgesics. In contrast, an R181C variant abolished both signaling and internalization in response to saturating doses of the hydrolysis-resistant enkephalin [D-Ala2,N-MePhe4,Gly5-ol]enkephalin (DAMGO). Coexpression of the R181C and WT receptor led to independent trafficking of the 2 receptors. S42T and C192F variants showed a rightward shift in potency of both morphine and DAMGO, whereas the S147C variant displayed a subtle leftward shift in morphine potency. These data suggest that these and other such variants may have clinical relevance to opioid responsiveness to both endogenous ligands and exogenous drugs, and could influence a broad range of phenotypes, including ASUD, pain responses, and the development of tolerance to morphine.
Project description:mu opiate receptors recognize morphine with high affinity. A 2.1-kb rat brain cDNA whose predicted translation product displays 63% identity with recently described delta and kappa opiate receptor sequences was identified through polymerase chain reaction and cDNA homology approaches. This cDNA recognizes a 10.5-kb mRNA that is expressed in thalamic neurons. COS-cell expression confers naloxonazine-, Na(+)-, and GTP-sensitive binding of mu but not delta or kappa opioid ligands. Expressing cells bind morphine, [D-Ala2,N-methyl-Phe4,glyol5]enkephalin (DAMGO), and [D-Ala2,D-Leu5]enkephalin (DADLE) with nanomolar or subnanomolar affinities, defining a mu opiate receptor that avidly recognizes analgesic and euphoric opiate drugs and opioid peptides.
Project description:Solubilization of opioid receptors from rat cortical membranes that retained high-affinity guanine nucleotide-sensitive agonist binding was achieved using 10 mM CHAPS. We report the nature of the interactions of mu and delta opioid receptors with the guanine nucleotide-binding protein G(o) by immunoprecipitation of CHAPS extracts with selective G(o)alpha-subunit protein antisera. Antiserum IM1 raised against amino acids 22-35 of G(o)alpha selectively co-immunoprecipitated G(o)alpha-mu and G(o)alpha-delta opioid receptor complexes detected in the immunoprecipitates by specific [3H][D-Ala2,N-Me-Phe4,Gly5-ol]enkephalin and [3H][D-Ser2,Leu5,Thr6]enkephalin binding respectively. By contrast, antisera directed against the C-terminal decapeptide (OC2) and the N-terminal hexadecapeptide (ON1) of isoforms of G(o)alpha were unable to immunoprecipitate solubilized opioid receptor-G(o) complexes, although both were able to immunoprecipitate solubilized G(o)alpha and have been shown to reduce the affinity of [D-Ala2,D-Leu5]enkephalin for opioid receptors in rat cortical membranes [Georgoussi, Carr and Milligan (1993) Mol. Pharmacol. 44, 62-69]. These findings demonstrate that CHAPS-solubilized mu and delta opioid receptors from rat cortical membranes form stable complexes with one or more variants of G(o).
Project description:Background: Electroacupuncture (EA) tolerance, a negative therapeutic effect, is a gradual decline in antinociception because of its repeated or prolonged use. This study aims to explore the role of thymosin beta 4 (Tβ4), having neuro-protection properties, in EA tolerance (EAT). Methods: Rats were treated with EA once daily for eight consecutive days to establish EAT, effect of Tβ4 on the development of EAT was determined through microinjection of Tβ4 antibody and siRNA into the cerebroventricle. The mRNA and protein expression profiles of Tβ4, opioid peptides (enkephalin, dynorphin and endorphin), and anti-opioid peptides (cholecystokinin octapeptide, CCK-8 and orphanin FQ, OFQ), and mu opioid receptor (MOR) and CCK B receptor (CCKBR) in the brain areas (hypothalamus, thalamus, cortex, midbrain and medulla) were characterized after Tβ4 siRNA was administered. Results: Tβ4 levels were increased at day 1, 4, and 8 and negatively correlated with the changes of tail flick latency in all areas. Tβ4 antibody and siRNA postponed EAT. Tβ4 siRNA caused decreased Tβ4 levels in all areas, which resulted in increased enkephalin, dynorphin, endorphin and MOR levels in most measured areas during repeated EA, but unchanged OFQ, CCK-8, and CCKBR levels in most measured areas. Tβ4 levels were negatively correlated with enkephalin, dynorphin, endorphin, or MOR levels in all areas except medulla, while positively correlated with OFQ and CCK-8 levels in some areas. Conclusion: These results confirmed Tβ4 facilitates EAT probably through negatively changing endogenous opioid peptides and their receptors and positively influencing anti-opioid peptides in the central nervous system.