A high-throughput assay for evaluating state dependence and subtype selectivity of Cav2 calcium channel inhibitors.
ABSTRACT Cav2.2 channels play a critical role in pain signaling by controlling synaptic transmission between dorsal root ganglion neurons and dorsal horn neurons. The Cav2.2-selective peptide blocker ziconotide (Prialt, Elan Pharmaceuticals, Dublin, Ireland) has proven efficacious in pain relief, but has a poor therapeutic index and requires intrathecal administration. This has provided impetus for finding an orally active, state-dependent Cav2.2 inhibitor with an improved safety profile. Members of the Cav2 subfamily of calcium channels are the main contributors to central and peripheral synaptic transmission, but the pharmacological effects of blocking each subtype is not yet defined. Here we describe a high-throughput fluorescent assay using a fluorometric imaging plate reader (FLIPR [Molecular Devices, Sunnyvale, CA]) designed to quickly evaluate the state dependence and selectivity of inhibitors across the Cav2 subfamily. Stable cell lines expressing functional Cav2 channels (Ca(V)alpha, beta(3), and alpha(2)delta subunits) were co-transfected with an inward rectifier (Kir2.3) so that membrane potential, and therefore channel state, could be controlled by external potassium concentration. Following cell incubation in drug with varying concentrations of potassium, a high potassium trigger was added to elicit calcium influx through available, unblocked channels. State-dependent inhibitors that preferentially bind to channels in the open or inactivated state can be identified by their increased potency at higher potassium concentrations, where cells are depolarized and channels are biased towards these states. Although the Cav2 channel subtypes differ in their voltage dependence of inactivation, by adjusting pre-trigger potassium concentrations, the degree of steady-state inactivation can be more closely matched across Cav2 subtypes to assess molecular selectivity.
Article: Positive allosteric interaction of structurally diverse T-type calcium channel antagonists.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Low-voltage-activated (T-type) calcium channels play a role in diverse physiological responses including neuronal burst firing, hormone secretion, and cell growth. To better understand the biological role and therapeutic potential of the target, a number of structurally diverse antagonists have been identified. Multiple drug interaction sites have been identified for L-type calcium channels, suggesting a similar possibility exists for the structurally related T-type channels. Here, we radiolabel a novel amide T-type calcium channel antagonist (TTA-A1) and show that several known antagonists, including mibefradil, flunarizine, and pimozide, displace binding in a concentration-dependent manner. Further, we identify a novel quinazolinone T-type antagonist (TTA-Q4) that enhanced amide radioligand binding, increased affinity in a saturable manner and slowed dissociation. Functional evaluation showed these compounds to be state-dependent antagonists which show a positive allosteric interaction. Consistent with slowing dissociation, the duration of efficacy was prolonged when compounds were co-administered to WAG/Rij rats, a genetic model of absence epilepsy. The development of a T-type calcium channel radioligand has been used to demonstrate structurally distinct TTAs interact at allosteric sites and to confirm the potential for synergistic inhibition of T-type calcium channels with structurally diverse antagonists.Cell biochemistry and biophysics 08/2009; 55(2):81-93. · 3.34 Impact Factor