Emerging Paradigm of Intracellular Targeting of G Protein-Coupled Receptors.
ABSTRACT: G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) recognize a diverse array of extracellular stimuli, and they mediate a broad repertoire of signaling events involved in human physiology. Although the major effort on targeting GPCRs has typically been focused on their extracellular surface, a series of recent developments now unfold the possibility of targeting them from the intracellular side as well. Allosteric modulators binding to the cytoplasmic surface of GPCRs have now been described, and their structural mechanisms are elucidated by high-resolution crystal structures. Furthermore, pepducins, aptamers, and intrabodies targeting the intracellular face of GPCRs have also been successfully utilized to modulate receptor signaling. Moreover, small molecule compounds, aptamers, and synthetic intrabodies targeting ?-arrestins have also been discovered to modulate GPCR endocytosis and signaling. Here, we discuss the emerging paradigm of intracellular targeting of GPCRs, and outline the current challenges, potential opportunities, and future outlook in this particular area of GPCR biology.
Project description:G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are a large family of remarkably versatile membrane proteins that are attractive therapeutic targets because of their involvement in a vast range of normal physiological processes and pathological diseases. Upon activation, intracellular domains of GPCRs mediate signaling to G-proteins, but these domains have yet to be effectively exploited as drug targets. Cell-penetrating lipidated peptides called pepducins target specific intracellular loops of GPCRs and have recently emerged as effective allosteric modulators of GPCR activity. The lipid moiety facilitates translocation across the plasma membrane, where pepducins then specifically modulate signaling of their cognate receptor. To date, pepducins and related lipopeptides have been shown to specifically modulate the activity of diverse GPCRs and other membrane proteins, including protease-activated receptors (PAR1, PAR2, and PAR4), chemokine receptors (CXCR1, CXCR2, and CXCR4), sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor-3 (S1P3), the melanocortin-4 receptor, the Smoothened receptor, formyl peptide receptor-2 (FPR2), the relaxin receptor (LGR7), G-proteins (Gα(q/11/o/13)), muscarinic acetylcholine receptor and vanilloid (TRPV1) channels, and the GPIIb integrin. This minireview describes recent advances made using pepducin technology in targeting diverse GPCRs and the use of pepducins in identifying potential novel drug targets.
Project description:The Third International Consensus Definitions (Sepsis-3) define sepsis as life-threatening multi-organ dysfunction caused by a dysregulated host response to infection. Sepsis can progress to septic shock-an even more lethal condition associated with profound circulatory, cellular and metabolic abnormalities. Septic shock remains a leading cause of death in intensive care units and carries a mortality of almost 25%. Despite significant advances in our understanding of the pathobiology of sepsis, therapeutic interventions have not translated into tangible differences in the overall outcome for patients. Clinical trials of antagonists of various pro-inflammatory mediators in sepsis have been largely unsuccessful in the past. Given the diverse physiologic roles played by G-protein coupled receptors (GPCR), modulation of GPCR signaling for the treatment of sepsis has also been explored. Traditional pharmacologic approaches have mainly focused on ligands targeting the extracellular domains of GPCR. However, novel techniques aimed at modulating GPCR intracellularly through aptamers, pepducins and intrabodies have opened a fresh avenue of therapeutic possibilities. In this review, we summarize the diverse roles played by various subfamilies of GPCR in the pathogenesis of sepsis and identify potential targets for pharmacotherapy through these novel approaches.
Project description:Recent crystal structures of multiple G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) have revealed a highly conserved intracellular pocket that can be used to modulate these receptors from the inside. This novel intracellular site partially overlaps with the G protein and ?-arrestin binding site, providing a new manner of pharmacological intervention. Here we provide an update of the architecture and function of the intracellular region of GPCRs, until now portrayed as the signaling domain. We review the available evidence on the presence of intracellular binding sites among chemokine receptors and other class A GPCRs, as well as different strategies to target it, including small molecules, pepducins, and nanobodies. Finally, the potential advantages of intracellular (allosteric) ligands over orthosteric ligands are also discussed.
Project description:Short lipidated peptide sequences derived from various intracellular loop regions of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are named pepducins and act as allosteric modulators of a number of GPCRs. Recently, a pepducin selectively targeting the C-X-C chemokine receptor type 4 (CXCR4) was found to be an allosteric agonist, active in both cell-based assays and in vivo. However, the precise mechanism of action of this class of ligands remains poorly understood. In particular, given the diversity of signaling effectors that can be engaged by a given receptor, it is not clear whether pepducins can show biased signaling leading to functional selectivity. To explore the ligand-biased potential of pepducins, we assessed the effect of the CXCR4 selective pepducin, ATI-2341, on the ability of the receptor to engage the inhibitory G proteins (Gi1, Gi2 and Gi3), G13, and ?-arrestins. Using bioluminescence resonance energy transfer-based biosensors, we found that, in contrast to the natural CXCR4 ligand, stromal cell-derived factor-1?, which promotes the engagement of the three Gi subtypes, G13 and the two ?-arrestins, ATI-2341 leads to the engagement of the Gi subtypes but not G13 or the ?-arrestins. Calculation of the transduction ratio for each pathway revealed a strong negative bias of ATI-2341 toward G13 and ?-arrestins, revealing functional selectivity for the Gi pathways. The negative bias toward ?-arrestins results from the reduced ability of the pepducin to promote GPCR kinase-mediated phosphorylation of the receptor. In addition to revealing ligand-biased signaling of pepducins, these findings shed some light on the mechanism of action of a unique class of allosteric regulators.
Project description:G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are remarkably versatile signaling systems that are activated by a large number of different agonists on the outside of the cell. However, the inside surface of the receptors that couple to G proteins has not yet been effectively modulated for activity or treatment of diseases. Pepducins are cell-penetrating lipopeptides that have enabled chemical and physical access to the intracellular face of GPCRs. The structure of a third intracellular (i3) loop agonist, pepducin, based on protease-activated receptor-1 (PAR1) was solved by NMR and found to closely resemble the i3 loop structure predicted for the intact receptor in the on-state. Mechanistic studies revealed that the pepducin directly interacts with the intracellular H8 helix region of PAR1 and allosterically activates the receptor through the adjacent (D/N)PXXYYY motif through a dimer-like mechanism. The i3 pepducin enhances PAR1/G? subunit interactions and induces a conformational change in fluorescently labeled PAR1 in a very similar manner to that induced by thrombin. As pepducins can potentially be made to target any GPCR, these data provide insight into the identification of allosteric modulators to this major drug target class.
Project description:Beta-arrestins (?arrs) critically mediate desensitization, endocytosis and signalling of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), and they scaffold a large number of interaction partners. However, allosteric modulation of their scaffolding abilities and direct targeting of their interaction interfaces to modulate GPCR functions selectively have not been fully explored yet. Here we identified a series of synthetic antibody fragments (Fabs) against different conformations of ?arrs from phage display libraries. Several of these Fabs allosterically and selectively modulated the interaction of ?arrs with clathrin and ERK MAP kinase. Interestingly, one of these Fabs selectively disrupted ?arr-clathrin interaction, and when expressed as an intrabody, it robustly inhibited agonist-induced endocytosis of a broad set of GPCRs without affecting ERK MAP kinase activation. Our data therefore demonstrate the feasibility of selectively targeting ?arr interactions using intrabodies and provide a novel framework for fine-tuning GPCR functions with potential therapeutic implications.
Project description:G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) play diverse roles in physiological processes, and hence the ligands to modulate GPCRs have served as important molecules in biological and pharmacological approaches. However, the exploration of novel ligands for GPCR still remains an arduous challenge. In this study, we report a method for the discovery of nucleic acid ligands against GPCRs by an advanced RNA aptamer screening technology that employs a virus-like particle (VLP), exposing the GPCR of interest. An array of biochemical analyses coupled with a cell-based assay revealed that one of the aptamers raised against purinergic receptor P2Y2 (P2RY2), a GPCR, exhibits an activation potency to unliganded receptor and prohibits a further receptor activation by endogenous ligand, behaving like a partial agonist. However, the aptamer enhances the activity of intrinsic ligand-binding P2RY2, thereby acting as a positive allosteric modulator (PAM) to liganded receptor. Our findings demonstrate that the nucleic acid aptamer conditionally exerts PAM and agonist effects on GPCRs, depending on their intrinsic ligand binding state. These results indicate the validity of our VLP-based aptamer screening targeting GPCR and reemphasize the great potential of nucleic acid ligands for exploring the GPCR activation mechanism and therapeutic applications.
Project description:Many G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR) exert patterns of cell-specific signaling and function. Mounting evidence now supports the view that cytoplasmic adapter proteins contribute critically to this behavior. Adapter proteins recognize highly conserved motifs such as those for Src homology 3 (SH3), phosphotyrosine-binding (PTB), and postsynaptic density 95/discs-large/zona occludens (PDZ) docking sequences in candidate GPCRs. Here we review the behavior of the Na+/H+ exchange regulatory factor (NHERF) family of PDZ adapter proteins on GPCR signalling, trafficking, and function. Structural determinants of NHERF proteins that allow them to recognize targeted GPCRs are considered. NHERF1 and NHERF2 are capable also of modifying the assembled complex of accessory proteins such as ?-arrestins, which have been implicated in regulating GPCR signaling. In addition, NHERF1 and NHERF2 modulate GPCR signaling by altering the G protein to which the receptor binds or affect other regulatory proteins that affect GTPase activity, protein kinase A, phospholipase C, or modify downstream signaling events. Small molecules targeting the site of NHERF1-GPCR interaction are being developed and may become important and selective drug candidates.
Project description:G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and their associated proteins represent one of the most diverse cellular signaling systems involved in both physiological and pathophysiological processes. Aging represents perhaps the most complex biological process in humans and involves a progressive degradation of systemic integrity and physiological resilience. This is in part mediated by age-related aberrations in energy metabolism, mitochondrial function, protein folding and sorting, inflammatory activity and genomic stability. Indeed, an increased rate of unrepaired DNA damage is considered to be one of the 'hallmarks' of aging. Over the last two decades our appreciation of the complexity of GPCR signaling systems has expanded their functional signaling repertoire. One such example of this is the incipient role of GPCRs and GPCR-interacting proteins in DNA damage and repair mechanisms. Emerging data now suggest that GPCRs could function as stress sensors for intracellular damage, e.g., oxidative stress. Given this role of GPCRs in the DNA damage response process, coupled to the effective history of drug targeting of these receptors, this suggests that one important future activity of GPCR therapeutics is the rational control of DNA damage repair systems.
Project description:A pepducin is a lipopeptide containing a peptide sequence that is identical to one of the intracellular domains of the G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) assumed to be the target. Neutrophils express two closely related formyl peptide receptors belonging to the family of GPCRs; FPR1 and FPR2 in human and their respective orthologue Fpr1 and Fpr2 in mouse. By applying the pepducin concept, we have earlier identified FPR2 activating pepducins generated from the third intracellular loop of FPR2. The third intracellular loop of FPR2 differs in two amino acids from that of FPR1, seven from Fpr2 and three from Fpr1. Despite this, we found that pepducins generated from FPR1, FPR2, Fpr1 and Fpr2 all targeted FPR2 in human neutrophils and Fpr2 in mouse, but with different modulating outcomes. Whereas the FPR1/Fpr1 derived pepducins inhibited the FPR2 function in human neutrophils, they activated Fpr2 in mouse. The FPR2 derived pepducin activated FPR2/Fpr2, whereas the pepducin generated from Fpr2 inhibited both FPR2 and Fpr2. In summary, our data demonstrate that pepducins generated from the third intracellular loop of human FPR1/2 and mouse Fpr1/2, all targeted FPR2 in human and Fpr2 in mouse. With respect to the modulating outcomes, pepducin inhibitors identified for FPR2 are in fact activators for Fpr2 in mouse neutrophils. Our data thus questions the validity of pepducin concept regarding their receptor selectivity but supports the notion that FPR2/Fpr2 may recognize a lipopeptide molecular pattern, and highlight the differences in ligand recognition profile between FPR2 and its mouse orthologue Fpr2.