Design, Synthesis, and Evaluation of a Diazirine Photoaffinity Probe for Ligand-Based Receptor Capture Targeting G Protein-Coupled Receptors.
ABSTRACT: Chemoproteomic approaches to identify ligand-receptor interactions have gained popularity. However, identifying transmembrane receptors remains challenging. A new trifunctional probe to aid the nonbiased identification of such receptors was developed and synthesized using a convenient seven-step synthesis. This probe contained three functional groups: 1) an N-hydroxysuccinimide ester for ligand-coupling through free amines, 2) a diazirine moiety to capture the receptor of interest upon irradiation with UV light, and 3) a biotin group which allowed affinity purification of the final adduct using streptavidin. The interaction between the G protein-coupled tachykinin neurokinin 1 (NK1) receptor, expressed in an inducible manner, and the peptidic ligand substance P was used as a test system. Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis confirmed successful coupling of the probe to substance P, while inositol monophosphate accumulation assays demonstrated that coupling of the probe did not interfere substantially with the substance P-NK1 receptor interaction. Confocal microscopy and western blotting provided evidence of the formation of a covalent bond between the probe and the NK1 receptor upon UV activation. As proof of concept, the probe was used in full ligand-based receptor-capture experiments to identify the substance P-binding receptor via liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry, resulting in the successful identification of only the NK1 receptor. This provides proof of concept toward general utilization of this probe to define interactions between ligands and previously unidentified plasma-membrane receptors.
Project description:Substance P (SP) is a neuropeptide that mediates numerous physiological responses, including transmission of pain and inflammation through the neurokinin-1 (NK1) receptor, a G protein-coupled receptor. Previous mutagenesis studies and photoaffinity labeling using ligand analogues suggested that the binding site for SP includes multiple domains in the N-terminal (Nt) segment and the second extracellular loop (ECLII) of NK1. To map precisely the NK1 residues that interact with SP, we applied a novel receptor-based targeted photocross-linking approach. We used amber codon suppression to introduce the photoreactive unnatural amino acid p-benzoyl-l-phenylalanine (BzF) at 11 selected individual positions in the Nt tail (residues 11-21) and 23 positions in the ECLII (residues 170(C-10)-193(C+13)) of NK1. The 34 NK1 variants were expressed in mammalian HEK293 cells and retained the ability to interact with a fluorescently labeled SP analog. Notably, 10 of the receptor variants with BzF in the Nt tail and 4 of those with BzF in ECLII cross-linked efficiently to SP, indicating that these 14 sites are juxtaposed to SP in the ligand-bound receptor. These results show that two distinct regions of the NK1 receptor possess multiple determinants for SP binding and demonstrate the utility of genetically encoded photocross-linking to map complex multitopic binding sites on G protein-coupled receptors in a cell-based assay format.
Project description:The lower efficacy of opioids in neuropathic pain may be due to the increased activity of pronociceptive systems such as substance P. We present evidence to support this hypothesis in this work from the spinal cord in a neuropathic pain model in mice. Biochemical analysis confirmed the elevated mRNA and protein level of pronociceptive substance P, the major endogenous ligand of the neurokinin-1 (NK1) receptor, in the lumbar spinal cord of chronic constriction injury (CCI)-mice. To improve opioid efficacy in neuropathic pain, novel compounds containing opioid agonist and neurokinin 1 (NK1) receptor antagonist pharmacophores were designed. Structure-activity studies were performed on opioid agonist/NK1 receptor antagonist hybrid peptides by modification of the C-terminal amide substituents. All compounds were evaluated for their affinity and in vitro activity at the mu opioid (MOP) and delta opioid (DOP) receptors, and for their affinity and antagonist activity at the NK1 receptor. On the basis of their in vitro profiles, the analgesic properties of two new bifunctional hybrids were evaluated in naive and CCI-mice, representing models for acute and neuropathic pain, respectively. The compounds were administered to the spinal cord by lumbar puncture. In naive mice, the single pharmacophore opioid parent compounds provided better analgesic results, as compared to the hybrids (max 70% MPE), raising the acute pain threshold close to 100% MPE. On the other hand, the opioid parents gave poor analgesic effects under neuropathic pain conditions, while the best hybrid delivered robust (close to 100% MPE) and long lasting alleviation of both tactile and thermal hypersensitivity. The results presented emphasize the potential of opioid/NK1 hybrids in view of analgesia under nerve injury conditions.
Project description:1. The aim of the present study was to examine the role of NK1 and NK2 receptors in the control of mechanical activity of mouse stomach. In this view, the motor effects induced by NK1 and NK2 receptor agonists and antagonists were analyzed, measuring motility as intraluminal pressure changes in mouse-isolated stomach preparations. In parallel, immunohistochemical studies were performed to identify the location of NK1 and NK2 receptors on myenteric neurons and smooth muscle cells. 2. Substance P (SP) induced biphasic effects: a contraction followed by relaxation; neurokinin A (NKA) and [beta-Ala8]-NKA(4-10), selective agonist of NK2 receptors, evoked concentration-dependent contractions, whereas [Sar9, Met(O2)11]-SP, selective agonist of NK1 receptors, induced concentration-dependent relaxation. 3. SR48968, NK2 receptor antagonist, did not modify the spontaneous activity and reduced the contractile effects induced by tachykinins without affecting the relaxation. SR140333, NK1 receptor antagonist, did not modify the spontaneous activity and antagonized the relaxant response to tachykinins, failing to affect the contractile effects. 4. The relaxation to SP or to [Sar9, Met(O2)11]-SP was abolished by tetrodotoxin (TTX) and significantly reduced by N(omega)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME). 5. NK2-immunoreactivity (NK2-IR) was seen at the level of the smooth muscle cells of both circular and longitudinal muscle layers. NK1-immunoreactive (NK1-IR) neurons were seen in the myenteric ganglia and NK1/nNOS double labeling revealed that some neurons were both NK1-IR and nNOS-IR. 6. These results suggest that, in mouse stomach, NK1 receptors, causing relaxant responses, are present on nitrergic inhibitory myenteric neurons, whereas NK2 receptors, mediating contractile responses, are present at muscular level.
Project description:A screening of conformationally constrained aromatic amino acids as base cores for the preparation of new NK1 receptor antagonists resulted in the discovery of three new NK1 receptor antagonists, 19 [Ac-Aba-Gly-NH-3',5'-(CF(3))(2)-Bn], 20 [Ac-Aba-Gly-NMe-3',5'-(CF(3))(2)-Bn], and 23 [Ac-Tic-NMe-3',5'-(CF(3))(2)-Bn], which were able to counteract the agonist effect of substance P, the endogenous ligand of NK1R. The most active NK1 antagonist of the series, 20 [Ac-Aba-Gly-NMe-3',5'-(CF(3))(2)-Bn], was then used in the design of a novel, potent chimeric opioid agonist-NK1 receptor antagonist, 35 [Dmt-D-Arg-Aba-Gly-NMe-3',5'-(CF(3))(2)-Bn], which combines the N terminus of the established Dmt(1)-DALDA agonist opioid pharmacophore (H-Dmt-D-Arg-Phe-Lys-NH(2)) and 20, the NK1R ligand. The opioid component of the chimeric compound 35, that is, Dmt-D-Arg-Aba-Gly-NH(2) (36), also proved to be an extremely potent and balanced ? and ? opioid receptor agonist with subnanomolar binding and in vitro functional activity.
Project description:PURPOSE: NK1 receptors have been implicated in various neuropsychiatric and other disorders. R116301 is a selective NK1 receptor antagonist. In this pilot study, [(11)C]R116301 was evaluated as a potential positron emission tomography (PET) ligand for the NK1 receptor. PROCEDURES: Two dynamic PET studies were performed in three normal volunteers before and after a blocking dose of aprepitant. Data were analyzed using striatum to cerebellum standardized uptake value (SUV) ratios. RESULTS: Baseline SUV ratios at 60-90 min after injection ranged from 1.22 to 1.70. Following aprepitant administration, this specific signal was completely blocked. Aprepitant administration did not significantly affect uptake in cerebellum, confirming the absence of NK1 receptors in cerebellum. CONCLUSION: These preliminary results indicate that [(11)C]R116301 has potential as a radioligand for in vivo assessment of NK1 receptors in the human brain.
Project description:There is a substantial interest in the development of NK1 substance P antagonists as potential treatments for various neuropsychiatric and somatic disorders. The aim of this study was to determine whether [18F]SPA-RQ can be utilized as a tool for studying the whole body distribution and function of NK1 receptors in preclinical settings. The compound was injected into guinea pigs with or without premedication with a NK1 receptor antagonist (NK1A-2). For comparison, we included two rats in the study, as the affinity of antagonists for NK1 receptors is known to vary between species. The whole body biodistribution of the tracer was determined at several time points. The tracer showed specific binding in organs compatible with the known location of NK1-receptors. Premedication with a NK1 antagonist led to an inhibited uptake of [18F]SPA-RQ in several organs of guinea pigs, notably intestine, pancreas, urinary bladder, uterus, skin and lung. Specific binding was also seen in both cortex and striatum. In contrast, negligible specific binding was observed in the rat brain with [18F]SPA-RQ, whereas the tracer uptake in peripheral tissues was similar to that seen in guinea pigs. We conclude that [18F]SPA-RQ/PET is a useful tool to study the distribution and function of peripherally located NK1 receptors e.g. in different disease models.
Project description:UNLABELLED:In response to pain, neurokinin 1 (NK1) receptor availability is altered in the central nervous system. The NK1 receptor and its primary agonist, substance P, also play a crucial role in peripheral tissue in response to pain, as part of neurogenic inflammation. However, little is known about alterations in NK1 receptor availability in peripheral tissue in chronic pain conditions and very few studies have been performed on human beings. Ten subjects with chronic tennis elbow were therefore examined by positron emission tomography (PET) with the NK1 specific radioligand [(11)C]GR205171 before and after treatment with graded exercise. The radioligand signal intensity was higher in the affected arm as compared with the unaffected arm, measured as differences between the arms in volume of voxels and signal intensity of this volume above a reference threshold set as 2.5 SD above mean signal intensity of the unaffected arm before treatment. In the eight subjects examined after treatment, pain ratings decreased in all subjects but signal intensity decreased in five and increased in three. In conclusion, NK1 receptors may be activated, or up-regulated in the peripheral, painful tissue of a chronic pain condition. This up-regulation does, however, have moderate correlation to pain ratings. The increased NK1 receptor availability is interpreted as part of ongoing neurogenic inflammation and may have correlation to the pathogenesis of chronic tennis elbow. TRIAL REGISTRATION:ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00888225 http://clinicaltrials.gov/
Project description:We previously reported that ginsenoside Re (GRe) attenuated against methamphetamine (MA)-induced neurotoxicity via anti-inflammatory and antioxidant potentials. We also demonstrated that dynorphin possesses anti-inflammatory and antioxidant potentials against dopaminergic loss, and that balance between dynorphin and substance P is important for dopaminergic neuroprotection. Thus, we examined whether GRe positively affects interactive modulation between dynorphin and substance P against MA neurotoxicity in mice.We examined changes in dynorphin peptide level, prodynorphin mRNA, and substance P mRNA, substance P-immunoreactivity, homeostasis in enzymatic antioxidant system, oxidative parameter, microglial activation, and pro-apoptotic parameter after a neurotoxic dose of MA to clarify the effects of GRe, prodynorphin knockout, pharmacological inhibition of ?-opioid receptor (i.e., nor-binaltorphimine), or neurokinin 1 (NK1) receptor (i.e., L-733,060) against MA insult in mice.GRe attenuated MA-induced decreases in dynorphin level, prodynorphin mRNA expression in the striatum of wild-type (WT) mice. Prodynorphin knockout potentiated MA-induced dopaminergic toxicity in mice. The imbalance of enzymatic antioxidant system, oxidative burdens, microgliosis, and pro-apoptotic changes led to the dopaminergic neurotoxicity. Neuroprotective effects of GRe were more pronounced in prodynorphin knockout than in WT mice. Nor-binaltorphimine, a ?-opioid receptor antagonist, counteracted against protective effects of GRe. In addition, we found that GRe significantly attenuated MA-induced increases in substance P-immunoreactivity and substance P mRNA expression in the substantia nigra. These increases were more evident in prodynorphin knockout than in WT mice. Although, we observed that substance P-immunoreactivity was co-localized in NeuN-immunreactive neurons, GFAP-immunoreactive astrocytes, and Iba-1-immunoreactive microglia. NK1 receptor antagonist L-733,060 or GRe selectively inhibited microgliosis induced by MA. Furthermore, L-733,060 did not show any additive effects against GRe-mediated protective activity (i.e., antioxidant, antimicroglial, and antiapoptotic effects), indicating that NK1 receptor is one of the molecular targets of GRe.Our results suggest that GRe protects MA-induced dopaminergic neurotoxicity via upregulatgion of dynorphin-mediated ?-opioid receptor and downregulation of substance P-mediated NK1 R.
Project description:Noradrenaline (NA), a key neurotransmitter of the endogenous pain inhibitory system, acutely inhibits nociceptive transmission (including that mediated by substance P), potentiates opioid analgesia, and underlies part of the antinociceptive effects of the widely prescribed tricyclic antidepressants. Lesions of noradrenergic neurons, however, result in either normal or reduced pain behavior and variable changes in morphine antinociception, undermining the proposed association between noradrenaline (NA) deficiency and chronic pain (hyperalgesia). We used mice lacking the gene coding for dopamine beta-hydroxylase, the enzyme responsible for synthesis of NA from dopamine, to reexamine the consequences of a lack of NA on pain behavior. Here, we show that absence of NA in the central nervous system results in a substance P-mediated chronic hyperalgesia (decreased nociceptive threshold) to thermal, but not mechanical, stimuli and decreased efficacy of morphine. Contrary to studies that show substance P-mediated hyperalgesia requires intense stimuli, we found that even a mild stimulus is sufficient to evoke substance P-dependent hyperalgesia in the NA-deficient mice. Restoring central NA normalized both the nociceptive threshold and morphine efficacy, which is consistent with a tonic inhibitory effect of NA on nociceptive transmission. Unexpectedly, however, antagonists to the substance P receptor (the NK1 receptor) could achieve the same effect as NA replacement. We conclude that when unopposed by NA, substance P acting at the NK1 receptor causes chronic thermal hyperalgesia, and that the reduced opioid efficacy associated with a lack of NA is due to increased NK1-receptor stimulation.
Project description:The concept of delivering nanoformulations to desired tissues by means of targeting membrane receptors of high local abundance by ligands anchored to the nanocarrier has gained a lot of attention over the last decade. Currently, there is no unanimous opinion on whether surface functionalization of nanocarriers by targeting ligands translates into any real benefit in terms of pharmacokinetics or treatment outcomes. Having examined the published nanocarriers designed to engage with somatostatin receptors, we realized that in the majority of cases targetability claims were not supported by solid evidence of targeting ligand-targeted receptor coupling, which is the very crux of a targetability concept. Here, we present an approach to characterize targetability of mesoporous silica-based nanocarriers functionalized with ligands of somatostatin receptors. The targetability proof in our case comes from a functional assay based on a genetically-encoded cAMP probe, which allows for real-time capture of receptor activation in living cells, triggered by targeting ligands on nanoparticles. We elaborate on the development and validation of the assay, highlighting the power of proper functional tests in the characterization pipeline of targeted nanoformulations.