Structure of the Nociceptin/Orphanin FQ Receptor in Complex with a Peptide Mimetic

Department of Molecular Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California 92037, USA.
Nature (Impact Factor: 41.46). 05/2012; 485(7398):395-9. DOI: 10.1038/nature11085
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Members of the opioid receptor family of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are found throughout the peripheral and central nervous system, where they have key roles in nociception and analgesia. Unlike the 'classical' opioid receptors, δ, κ and μ (δ-OR, κ-OR and μ-OR), which were delineated by pharmacological criteria in the 1970s and 1980s, the nociceptin/orphanin FQ (N/OFQ) peptide receptor (NOP, also known as ORL-1) was discovered relatively recently by molecular cloning and characterization of an orphan GPCR. Although it shares high sequence similarity with classical opioid GPCR subtypes (∼60%), NOP has a markedly distinct pharmacology, featuring activation by the endogenous peptide N/OFQ, and unique selectivity for exogenous ligands. Here we report the crystal structure of human NOP, solved in complex with the peptide mimetic antagonist compound-24 (C-24) (ref. 4), revealing atomic details of ligand-receptor recognition and selectivity. Compound-24 mimics the first four amino-terminal residues of the NOP-selective peptide antagonist UFP-101, a close derivative of N/OFQ, and provides important clues to the binding of these peptides. The X-ray structure also shows substantial conformational differences in the pocket regions between NOP and the classical opioid receptors κ (ref. 5) and μ (ref. 6), and these are probably due to a small number of residues that vary between these receptors. The NOP-compound-24 structure explains the divergent selectivity profile of NOP and provides a new structural template for the design of NOP ligands.

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Available from: Claudio Trapella, Sep 27, 2015
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    • "The several recent crystal structures that show interacting parallel receptors in the crystal unit cell (Fig. 3) have been used as an argument in favor of GPCR dimerization, although the possibility exists that these are crystallographic artifacts and/or they do not necessarily represent physiologically relevant interfaces. Two of the five available opioid receptor crystal structures (Fenalti et al., 2014; Granier et al., 2012; Manglik et al., 2012; Thompson et al., 2012; Wu et al., 2012), specifically the structures of μ (Manglik et al., 2012) and κ (Wu et al., 2012) receptors, also reveal parallel arrangements of interacting receptors. As shown in Fig. 3, these correspond to two different interfaces in the case of μ receptor, one of which is also seen in the κ receptor crystal "
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    ABSTRACT: Opioid receptors are important drug targets for pain management, addiction, and mood disorders. Although substantial research on these important subtypes of G protein-coupled receptors has been conducted over the past two decades to discover ligands with higher specificity and diminished side effects, currently used opioid therapeutics remain suboptimal. Luckily, recent advances in structural biology of opioid receptors provide unprecedented insights into opioid receptor pharmacology and signaling. We review here a few recent studies that have used the crystal structures of opioid receptors as a basis for revealing mechanistic details of signal transduction mediated by these receptors, and for the purpose of drug discovery. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.
    European journal of pharmacology 05/2015; 763. DOI:10.1016/j.ejphar.2015.05.012 · 2.53 Impact Factor
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    • "), the native N-terminal tetrapeptide (FGGF) was identified as the message domain, essential for activating biological responses following receptor binding, while the remainder of its sequence, termed the address domain, likely confers high-affinity binding (Fig. 4). The address domain of nociceptin (i.e., residues 7–17) contains basic amino acid residues that likely bind to acidic residues present in the second extracellular loop of the ORL-1 receptor (Thompson et al., 2012). Nociceptin (nociceptin(1–17)-OH) is equipotent with its amidated form (nociceptin(1–17)-NH 2 ; Guerrini et al., 1997), yet truncation of the nociceptin sequence possessing either a free acid or an amidated C-terminus resulted in substantial changes in binding affinity for ORL-1 (Butour et al., 1997; Calo et al., 1997; Dooley & Houghten, 1996; Guerrini et al., 1997). "
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    ABSTRACT: Nociceptin (orphanin FQ) is a 17-residue neuropeptide hormone with roles in both nociception and analgesia. It is an opioid-like peptide that binds to and activates the G-protein-coupled receptor opioid receptor-like-1 (ORL-1, NOP, orphanin FQ receptor, kappa-type 3 opioid receptor) on central and peripheral nervous tissue, without activating classic delta-, kappa-, or mu-opioid receptors or being inhibited by the classic opioid antagonist naloxone. The three-dimensional structure of ORL-1 was recently published, and the activation mechanism is believed to involve capture by ORL-1 of the high-affinity binding, prohelical C-terminus. This likely anchors the receptor- activating N-terminus of nociception nearby for insertion in the membrane-spanning helices of ORL-1. In search of higher agonist potency, two lysine and two aspartate res- idues were strategically incorporated into the receptor-binding C-terminus of the nociceptin sequence and two Lys(i)!Asp(i+4) side chain–side chain condensations were used to generate lactam cross-links that constrained nociceptin into a highly stable α-helix in water. A cell-based assay was developed using natively expressed ORL-1 receptors on mouse neuroblastoma cells to measure phosphorylated ERK as a reporter of agonist-induced receptor activation and intracellular signaling. Agonist activity was increased up to 20-fold over native nociceptin using a combination of this helix-inducing strategy and other amino acid modifications. An NMR-derived three-dimensional solution structure is described for a potent ORL-1 agonist derived from nociceptin, along with structure–activity relationships leading to the most potent known α-helical ORL-1 agonist (EC50 40 pM, pERK, Neuro-2a cells) and antagonist (IC50 7 nM, pERK, Neuro-2a cells). These α-helix-constrained mimetics of nociceptin(1–17) had enhanced serum stability relative to unconstrained peptide analogues and nociceptin itself, were not cytotoxic, and displayed potent thermal analgesic and antianalgesic properties in rats (ED50 70 pmol, IC50 10 nmol, s.c.), suggesting promising uses in vivo for the treatment of pain and other ORL-1-mediated responses.
    Nociceptin Opioid, 97 edited by Gerald Litwak, 01/2015: chapter 1: pages 1-55; Elsevier.
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    • "An initial C-alpha model of the ETA-receptor was built on the structure of the orphanin FQ-receptor (PDB: 4EA3) [26] since this receptor is also agonized by a peptide and - of all to date crystallized GPCRs - showed best sequence identity with ETA (BLAST search []: 27% identity, 56% similarity). "
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    ABSTRACT: The competitive endothelin receptor antagonists (ERA) bosentan and ambrisentan, which have long been approved for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension, are characterized by very short (1 min) occupancy half-lives at the ETA receptor. The novel ERA macitentan, displays a 20-fold increased receptor occupancy half-life, causing insurmountable antagonism of ET-1-induced signaling in pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells. We show here that the slow ETA receptor dissociation rate of macitentan was shared with a set of structural analogs, whereas compounds structurally related to bosentan displayed fast dissociation kinetics. NMR analysis showed that macitentan adopts a compact structure in aqueous solution and molecular modeling suggests that this conformation tightly fits into a well-defined ETA receptor binding pocket. In contrast the structurally different and negatively charged bosentan-type molecules only partially filled this pocket and expanded into an extended endothelin binding site. To further investigate these different ETA receptor-antagonist interaction modes, we performed functional studies using ETA receptor variants harboring amino acid point mutations in the presumed ERA interaction site. Three ETA receptor residues significantly and differentially affected ERA activity: Mutation R326Q did not affect the antagonist activity of macitentan, however the potencies of bosentan and ambrisentan were significantly reduced; mutation L322A rendered macitentan less potent, whereas bosentan and ambrisentan were unaffected; mutation I355A significantly reduced bosentan potency, but not ambrisentan and macitentan potencies. This suggests that - in contrast to bosentan and ambrisentan - macitentan-ETA receptor binding is not dependent on strong charge-charge interactions, but depends predominantly on hydrophobic interactions. This different binding mode could be the reason for macitentan's sustained target occupancy and insurmountable antagonism.
    PLoS ONE 09/2014; 9(9):e107809. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0107809 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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