GPCR functional selectivity has therapeutic impact.

Neurosciences Hospital, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7160, USA.
Trends in Pharmacological Sciences (Impact Factor: 9.99). 09/2007; 28(8):390-6. DOI: 10.1016/
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Many in vitro data show that some ligands can cause the differential activation of signaling pathways mediated by a single receptor (termed 'functional selectivity'). It remains unclear, however, whether functionally selective properties are meaningful in vivo. Data obtained with experimental compounds that are functionally selective at the dopamine D2L receptor in vitro suggest that these properties might predict atypical behavioral actions. Moreover, the antipsychotic drug aripiprazole is commonly thought to be a D2 partial agonist, but data clearly show that aripiprazole is functionally selective in vitro. It is proposed that the effects of aripiprazole in animal models and humans can be reconciled only with its functionally selective D2 properties, not its partial D2 agonism. Together, these data provide support for the hypothesis that compounds with functionally selective properties in vitro are likely to have novel actions in vivo, opening doors to new avenues of drug discovery.

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    ABSTRACT: Background: The atypical antipsychotic drug aripiprazole binds with high affinity to a number of G protein coupled receptors, including dopamine D2 receptors where its degree of efficacy as a partial agonist remains controversial. Methods: We examined the properties of aripiprazole at D2-like autoreceptors by monitoring the changes of dopamine synthesis in adult rat brain striatal minces incubated ex vivo. The effects of the dopaminergic tone on the properties of aripiprazole were assayed by comparing a basal condition (2 mM K(+), low dopaminergic tone), and a stimulated condition (15 mM K(+), where dopamine release mimics a relatively higher dopaminergic tone). We also used two reference compounds: quinpirole showed a clear agonistic activity, and preclamol (S-(-)-PPP) showed partial agonism, under both basal and stimulated conditions. Results: Aripiprazole under the basal condition acted as an agonist at D2-like autoreceptors and fully activated them at about 10 nM, inhibiting dopamine synthesis similarly to quinpirole. Higher concentrations of aripiprazole had effects not restricted to D2-like autoreceptor activation. Under the stimulated (15 mM K(+)) condition, nanomolar concentrations of aripiprazole failed to decrease dopamine synthesis, but could totally block the effect of quinpirole. Conclusions: Under high dopaminergic tone, aripiprazole acts as a D2-like autoreceptor antagonist rather than an agonist. These data show that, ex vivo, alteration of dopaminergic tone by depolarization affects the actions of aripiprazole on D2-like autoreceptors. Such unusual effects were not seen with the typical partial agonist preclamol, and are consistent with the hypothesis that aripiprazole is a functionally selective D2R ligand. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of CINP.
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    ABSTRACT: The α1A-AR is thought to couple predominantly to the Gαq/PLC pathway and lead to phosphoinositide hydrolysis and calcium mobilization, although certain agonists acting at this receptor have been reported to trigger activation of arachidonic acid formation and MAPK pathways. For several G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) agonists can manifest a bias for activation of particular effector signaling output, i.e. not all agonists of a given GPCR generate responses through utilization of the same signaling cascade(s). Previous work with Gαq coupling-defective variants of α1A-AR, as well as a combination of Ca2+ channel blockers, uncovered cross-talk between α1A-AR and β2-AR that leads to potentiation of a Gαq-independent signaling cascade in response to α1A-AR activation. We hypothesized that molecules exist that act as biased agonists to selectively activate this pathway. In this report, isoproterenol (Iso), typically viewed as β-AR-selective agonist, was examined with respect to activation of α1A-AR. α1A-AR selective antagonists were used to specifically block Iso evoked signaling in different cellular backgrounds and confirm its action at α1A-AR. Iso induced signaling at α1A-AR was further interrogated by probing steps along the Gαq /PLC, Gαs and MAPK/ERK pathways. In HEK-293/EBNA cells transiently transduced with α1A-AR, and CHO_α1A-AR stable cells, Iso evoked low potency ERK activity as well as Ca2+ mobilization that could be blocked by α1A-AR selective antagonists. The kinetics of Iso induced Ca2+ transients differed from typical Gαq- mediated Ca2+ mobilization, lacking both the fast IP3R mediated response and the sustained phase of Ca2+ re-entry. Moreover, no inositol phosphate (IP) accumulation could be detected in either cell line after stimulation with Iso, but activation was accompanied by receptor internalization. Data are presented that indicate that Iso represents a novel type of α1A-AR partial agonist with signaling bias toward MAPK/ERK signaling cascade that is likely independent of coupling to Gαq.
    PLoS ONE 01/2015; 10(1):e0115701. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0115701 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The D1 dopamine receptor (D1R) has been implicated in numerous neuropsychiatric disorders, and D1R-selective ligands have potential as therapeutic agents. Previous studies have identified substituted benzazepines as D1R-selective agonists, but the in vivo effects of these compounds have not correlated well with their in vitro pharmacological activities. A series of substituted benzazepines, and structurally dissimilar D1R-selective agonists, were tested for their functional effects on D1R-mediated cAMP accumulation, D1R-promoted β-arrestin recruitment, and D1R internalization using live cell functional assays. All compounds tested elicited an increase in cAMP accumulation, albeit with a range of efficacies. However, when the compounds were evaluated for β-arrestin recruitment, a subset of substituted benzazepines, SKF83959, SKF38393, SKF82957, SKF77434, and SKF75670, failed to activate this pathway, whereas the others showed similar activation efficacies as seen with cAMP accumulation. When tested as antagonists, the five biased compounds all inhibited dopamine-stimulated β-arrestin recruitment. Further, D1R internalization assays revealed a corroborating pattern of bias activity in that the biased compounds failed to promote D1R internalization. Interestingly, the biased signaling was unique for the D1R, as the same compounds were agonists of the related D5 dopamine receptor (D5R), but revealed no signaling bias. We have identified a group of substituted benzazepine ligands that are agonists at D1R-mediated G-protein signaling, but antagonists of D1R recruitment of β-arrestin, and also devoid of agonist-induced receptor endocytosis. These data may be useful in interpretation of seemingly contrasting effects of these compounds in vitro vs. in vivo, and for further understanding of pathway-selective signaling of the D1R.
    ACS Chemical Neuroscience 02/2015; DOI:10.1021/acschemneuro.5b00020 · 4.21 Impact Factor

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