Felix Hausch

Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, München, Bavaria, Germany

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Publications (45)212.73 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: B0AT2, encoded by the SLC6A15 gene, is a transporter for neutral amino acids that has recently been implicated in mood and metabolic disorders. It is predominantly expressed in the brain but little is otherwise known about its function. In order to identify inhibitors for this transporter we screened a library of different 3133 bioactive compounds. Loratadine, a clinically used histamine H1 receptor antagonist, was identified as a selective inhibitor of B0AT2 with an IC50 of 4 µM while being less active or inactive against several other members of the SLC6 family. Reversible inhibition of B0AT2 was confirmed by electrophysiology. A series of loratadine analogs was synthesized to get insight into the structure-activity relationships. Our studies provide the first chemical tool for B0AT2.
    Journal of medicinal chemistry. 10/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: A stereoselective synthesis of a derivatized bicyclic [4.3.1]decane scaffold based on an acyclic precursor is described. The key steps involve a Pd-catalyzed sp(3)-sp(2) Negishi-coupling, an asymmetric Shi epoxidation, and an intramolecular epoxide opening. Representative derivatives of this novel scaffold were synthesized and found to be potent inhibitors of the psychiatric risk factor FKBP51, which bound to FKBP51 with the intended molecular binding mode.
    Organic letters. 10/2014;
  • Serena Cuboni, Felix Hausch
    Angewandte Chemie 05/2014; 126(20).
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    ABSTRACT: Chronic stress is a risk factor for psychiatric disorders but does not necessarily lead to uniform long-term effects on mental health, suggesting modulating factors such as genetic predispositions. Here we address the question whether natural genetic variations in the mouse corticotropin releasing hormone receptor 1 (Crhr1) locus modulate the effects of adolescent chronic social stress (ACSS) on long-term stress hormone dysregulation in outbred CD1 mice, which allows a better understanding of the currently reported GxE interactions of early trauma and CRHR1 in humans. We identified two main haplotype variants in the mouse Crhr1 locus that modulate the long-term effects of ACSS on basal hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity. This effect is likely mediated by higher levels of CRHR1, as Crhr1 mRNA expression and CRHR1 binding was enhanced in risk haplotype carriers. Furthermore, a CRHR1 receptor antagonist normalized these long-term effects. Deep-sequencing of the Crhr1 locus in CD1 mice revealed a large number of linked single nucleotide polymorphisms with some located in important regulatory regions, similar to the location of human CRHR1 variants implicated in modulating GxE interactions. Our data support that the described gene x stress exposure interaction in this animal model is based on naturally occurring genetic variations in the Crhr1 gene associated with enhanced CRHR1 mediated signaling. Our results suggest that patients with a specific genetic predisposition in the CRHR1 gene together with an exposure to chronic stress may benefit from a treatment selectively antagonizing CRHR1 hyperactivity.
    Endocrinology 04/2014; · 4.72 Impact Factor
  • Serena Cuboni, Felix Hausch
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    ABSTRACT: In the sweet spot: Cocrystal structures of engineered neurotransmitter transporters reveal the binding mode of commonly prescribed antidepressants, providing a basis for a rational drug design for this class of proteins. The picture shows the structure of the dopamine transporter of Drosophila melanogaster in complex with the antidepressant nortriptyline.
    Angewandte Chemie International Edition 04/2014; · 11.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: FK506-binding protein 51 (FKBP51) is a co-chaperone of the glucocorticoid receptor, functionally linked to its activity via an ultra-short negative feedback loop. Thus, FKBP51 plays an important regulatory role in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis necessary for stress adaptation and recovery. Previous investigations illustrated that HPA functionality is influenced by polymorphisms in the gene encoding FKBP51, which are associated with both increased protein levels and depressive episodes. Because FKBP51 is a key molecule in stress responses, we hypothesized that its deletion impacts sleep. To study FKBP51-involved changes in sleep, polysomnograms of FKBP51 knockout (KO) mice and wild-type (WT) littermates were compared at baseline and in the recovery phase after 6-h sleep deprivation (SD) and 1-h restraint stress (RS). Using another set of animals, the 24-h profiles of hippocampal free corticosterone levels were also determined. The most dominant effect of FKBP51 deletion appeared as increased nocturnal wake, where the bout length was significantly extended while non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREMS) and rapid eye movement sleep were rather suppressed. After both SD and RS, FKBP51KO mice exhibited less recovery or rebound sleep than WTs, although slow-wave activity during NREMS was higher in KOs, particularly after SD. Sleep compositions of KOs were nearly opposite to sleep profiles observed in human depression. This might result from lower levels of free corticosterone in FKBP51KO mice, confirming reduced HPA reactivity. The results indicate that an FKBP51 deletion yields a pro-resilience sleep phenotype. FKBP51 could therefore be a therapeutic target for stress-induced mood and sleep disorders.
    Journal of Sleep Research 12/2013; · 3.04 Impact Factor
  • Felix Hausch
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    ABSTRACT: New members in the GPCR photo gallery! Crystal structures of class B G protein-coupled receptors, which bind peptide hormones, have been solved [see picture of the corticotropin-releasing factor receptor 1 (blue) and a bound allosteric nonpeptide antagonist (green)]. The structures provide a basis for a rational design of better drugs for diabetes, osteoporosis, migraine, or depression.
    Angewandte Chemie International Edition 10/2013; · 11.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The human Hsp90 co-chaperone FKBP52 belongs to the family of FK506-binding proteins, which act as peptidyl-prolyl isomerases. FKBP52 specifically enhances the signalling of steroid hormone receptors, modulates ion channels and regulates neuronal outgrowth dynamics. In turn, small molecule ligands of FKBP52 have been suggested as potential neurotrophic or anti-prostate cancer agents. The usefulness of available ligands is however limited by a lack of selectivity. The immunophilin FKBP52 is composed of three domains, a FK506-binding domain with peptidyl-prolyl isomerase activity, a FKBP-like domain of unknown function and a TPR-clamp domain, which recognizes the C-terminal peptide of Hsp90 with high affinity. The herein reported crystal structures of FKBP52 reveal that the short linker connecting the FK506-binding domain and the FKBP-like domain acts as a flexible hinge. This enhanced flexibility and its modulation by phosphorylation might explain some of the functional antagonism between the closely related homologs FKBP51 and FKBP52. We further present two co-crystal structures of FKBP52 in complex with the prototypic ligand FK506 and a synthetic analogue thereof. These structures revealed the molecular interactions in great detail, which enabled in-depth comparison with the corresponding complexes of FKBP51 and FKBP12, which coexist with FKBP52 in human cytosol. The observed subtle differences provide crucial insights for the rational design of ligands with improved selectivity for FKBP52.
    Journal of Molecular Biology 08/2013; · 3.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: FK506-binding proteins (FKBP) belong to the immunophilin family and are best known for their ability to enable the immunosuppressive properties of FK506 and rapamycin. For rapamycin, this is achieved by inducing inhibitory ternary complexes with the kinase mTOR. The essential accessory protein for this gain-of-function was thought to be FKBP12. We recently showed that this view might be too restricted, since larger FK506-binding proteins can functionally substitute for FKBP12 in mammalian cells. Recent studies have also shown that FK506-binding proteins can modulate Akt-mTOR signaling in the absence of rapamycin. Here we discuss the role of FK506-binding proteins for the mechanism of rapamycin as well as their intrinsic actions on the Akt/mTOR pathway.
    Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.) 07/2013; 12(15). · 5.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The design of efficient ligands remains a key challenge in drug discovery. In the quest for lead-like ligands for the FK506-binding protein 51 (FKBP51), we designed two new classes of bicyclic sulfonamides to probe the contribution of conformational energy in these ligands. The [4.3.1] scaffold had consistently higher affinity compared to the [3.3.1] or monocyclic scaffolds, which could be attributed to better preorganization of two key recognition motifs. Surprisingly, the binding of the rigid [4.3.1] scaffold was enthalpy-driven and entropically disfavored compared to the flexible analogues. Cocrystal structures at atomic resolution revealed that the sulfonamide nitrogen in the bicyclic scaffolds can accept an unusual hydrogen bond from Tyr(113) that mimics the putative FKBP transition state. This resulted in the first lead-like, functionally active ligand for FKBP51. Our work exemplifies how atom-efficient ligands can be achieved by careful conformational control even in very open and thus difficult binding sites such as FKBP51.
    Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 05/2013; · 5.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The immunosuppressant and anti-cancer drug rapamycin works by inducing inhibitory protein complexes with the kinase mTOR, an important regulator of growth and proliferation. The obligatory accessory partner of rapamycin is believed to be FKBP12. Here we show that rapamycin complexes of larger FKBP protein family members can tightly bind to mTOR and potently inhibit its kinase activity. Co-crystal structures with FKBP51 and FKBP52 reveal the modified molecular binding mode of these alternative ternary complexes in detail. In cellular model systems, FKBP12 can be functionally replaced by larger FKBPs. When rapamycin dosage is limiting, mTOR inhibition of S6K phosphorylation can be enhanced by FKBP51 overexpression in mammalian cells, whereas FKBP12 is dispensable. FKBP51 could also enable the rapamycin-induced hyperphosphorylation of Akt, which depended on higher FKBP levels compared to rapamycin-induced inhibition of S6K phosphorylation. These insights provide a mechanistic rationale for a preferential mTOR inhibition in specific cells or tissues types by engaging specific FKBP homologs.
    Molecular and cellular biology 01/2013; · 6.06 Impact Factor
  • Felix Hausch
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    ABSTRACT: Neue Mitglieder im GPCR‐Familienalbum! Erste Kristallstrukturen der G‐Protein‐gekoppelten Rezeptoren (GPCRs) der Peptidhormon‐erkennenden Klasse B sind gelöst (siehe Bild; blau: Rezeptor für den Corticotropin‐freisetzenden Faktor, grün: allosterisch gebundener, nicht‐peptidischer Antagonist). Sie liefern die Grundlage für ein rationelles Design von besseren Arzneimitteln zur Behandlung von Diabetes, Osteoporose, Migräne oder Depression.
    Angewandte Chemie 01/2013; 125(49).
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    ABSTRACT: SLC6A15 is a neuron-specific neutral amino acid transporter that belongs to the solute carrier 6 gene family. This gene family is responsible for presynaptic re-uptake of the majority of neurotransmitters. Convergent data from human studies, animal models and pharmacological investigations suggest a possible role of SLC6A15 in major depressive disorder. In this work, we explored potential functional variants in this gene that could influence the activity of the amino acid transporter and thus downstream neuronal function and possibly the risk for stress-related psychiatric disorders. DNA from 400 depressed patients and 400 controls was screened for genetic variants using a pooled targeted re-sequencing approach. Results were verified by individual re-genotyping and validated non-synonymous coding variants were tested in an independent sample (N = 1934). Nine variants altering the amino acid sequence were then assessed for their functional effects by measuring SLC6A15 transporter activity in a cellular uptake assay. In total, we identified 405 genetic variants, including twelve non-synonymous variants. While none of the non-synonymous coding variants showed significant differences in case-control associations, two rare non-synonymous variants were associated with a significantly increased maximal (3)H proline uptake as compared to the wildtype sequence. Our data suggest that genetic variants in the SLC6A15 locus change the activity of the amino acid transporter and might thus influence its neuronal function and the risk for stress-related psychiatric disorders. As statistically significant association for rare variants might only be achieved in extremely large samples (N >70,000) functional exploration may shed light on putatively disease-relevant variants.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(7):e68645. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The FK506-binding protein 51 (FKBP51) is an Hsp90-associated co-chaperone which regulates steroid receptors and kinases. In pancreatic cancer cell lines, FKBP51 was shown to recruit the phosphatase PHLPP to facilitate dephosphorylation of the kinase Akt, which was associated with reduced chemoresistance. Here we show that in addition to FKBP51 several other members of the FKBP family bind directly to Akt. FKBP51 can also form complexes with other AGC kinases and mapping studies revealed that FKBP51 interacts with Akt via multiple domains independent of their activation or phosphorylation status. The FKBP51-Akt1 interaction was not affected by FK506 analogs or Akt active site inhibitors, but was abolished by the allosteric Akt inhibitor VIII. None of the FKBP51 inhibitors affected AktS473 phosphorylation or downstream targets of Akt. In summary, we show that FKBP51 binds to Akt directly as well as via Hsp90. The FKBP51-Akt interaction is sensitive to the conformation of Akt1, but does not depend on the FK506-binding pocket of FKBP51. Therefore, FKBP inhibitors are unlikely to inhibit the Akt-FKBP-PHLPP network.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(2):e57508. · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • Felix Hausch, Florian Holsboer
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    ABSTRACT: G protein-coupled receptors with seven transmembrane helices are the most important drug targets in medicine. Their molecular and structural characterization has now been honored with the Nobel Prize for Chemistry to Robert J. Lefkowitz and Brian K. Kobilka.
    Angewandte Chemie International Edition 11/2012; · 11.34 Impact Factor
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    Felix Hausch, Florian Holsboer
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    ABSTRACT: Developing therapeutic drugs that target peptide receptors is challenging. The structure of one of these G-protein-coupled receptors, NTS1, activated and bound to a peptide, provides an excellent starting point. See Article p.508
    Nature 10/2012; 490(7421):492-3. · 38.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aversive life events represent one of the main risk factors for the development of many psychiatric diseases, but the interplay between environmental factors and genetic predispositions is still poorly understood. One major finding in many depressed patients is an impaired regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. The negative feedback loop of the HPA axis is mediated via the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) and the mineralocorticoid receptor. The co-chaperones FK506-binding protein 51 (FKBP51) and FK506-binding protein 52 (FKBP52) are components of the heat shock protein 90-receptor-heterocomplex and are functionally divergent regulators of both receptors. Here, we characterized heterozygous Fkbp52 knockout (Fkbp52(+/-)) mice under basal or chronic social defeat stress (CSDS) conditions with regard to physiological, neuroendocrine, behavioral and mRNA expression alterations. Fkbp52(+/-) mice displayed symptoms of increased stress sensitivity in a subset of behavioral and neuroendocrine parameters. These included increased anxiety-related behavior in the elevated plus-maze and an enhanced neuroendocrine response to a forced swim test (FST), possibly mediated by reduced GR sensitivity. At the same time, Fkbp52(+/-) mice also demonstrated signs of stress resilience in other behavioral and neuroendocrine aspects, such as reduced basal corticosterone levels and more active stress-coping behavior in the FST following CSDS. These contrasting results are in line with previous reports showing that FKBP52 is not involved in all branches of GR signaling, but rather acts in a gene-specific manner to regulate GR transcriptional activation.
    Psychoneuroendocrinology 05/2012; · 5.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The FK506 binding protein 51 (FKBP51) is best known as an Hsp90-associated co-chaperone that regulates the responsiveness of steroid hormone receptors. In human genetic association studies, FKBP51 has repeatedly been associated with emotion processing and numerous stress-related affective disorders. It has also been implicated in contributing to the glucocorticoid hyposensitivity observed in New World primates. More recently, several research groups have consistently shown a protective effect of FKBP51 knockout or knockdown on stress endocrinology and stress-coping behavior in animal models of depression and anxiety. The principal druggability of FKBP51 is exemplified by the prototypic FKBP ligands FK506 and rapamycin. Moreover, FKBP51 is highly suited for X-ray co-crystallography, which should facilitate the rational drug design of improved FKBP51 ligands. In summary, FKBP51 has emerged as a promising new drug target for stress-related disorders that should be amenable to drug discovery.
    ChemMedChem 05/2012; 7(8):1351-9. · 2.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The FK506-binding proteins (FKBP) 51 and 52 are cochaperones that modulate the signal transduction of steroid hormone receptors. Both proteins have been implicated in prostate cancer. Furthermore, single nucleotide polymorphisms in the gene encoding FKBP51 have been associated with a variety of psychiatric disorders. Rapamycin and FK506 are two macrocyclic natural products that bind to these proteins indiscriminately but with nanomolar affinity. We here report the cocrystal structure of FKBP51 with a simplified α-ketoamide analogue derived from FK506 and the first structure-activity relationship analysis for FKBP51 and FKBP52 based on this compound. In particular, the tert-pentyl group of this ligand was systematically replaced by a cyclohexyl ring system, which more closely resembles the pyranose ring in the high-affinity ligands rapamycin and FK506. The interaction with FKBPs was found to be surprisingly tolerant to the stereochemistry of the attached cyclohexyl substituents. The molecular basis for this tolerance was elucidated by X-ray cocrystallography.
    Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 03/2012; 55(9):4114-22. · 5.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: FK506-binding proteins (FKBP) 51 and 52 are cochaperones that modulate the signal transduction of steroid hormone receptors. Single nucleotide polymorphisms in the gene encoding FKBP51 have been associated with a variety of psychiatric disorders. Rapamycin and FK506 are two macrocyclic natural products, which tightly bind to most FKBP family members, including FKBP51 and FKBP52. A bioisosteric replacement of the α-ketoamide moiety of rapamycin and FK506 with a sulfonamide was envisaged with the retention of the conserved hydrogen bonds. A focused solid support-based synthesis protocol was developed, which led to ligands with submicromolar affinity for FKBP51 and FKBP52. The molecular binding mode for one sulfonamide analogue was confirmed by X-ray crystallography.
    Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 03/2012; 55(9):4123-31. · 5.61 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

202 Citations
212.73 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2008–2014
    • Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry
      München, Bavaria, Germany
  • 2011–2013
    • Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry
      • Department of Cellular Biochemistry
      München, Bavaria, Germany
    • Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology
      München, Bavaria, Germany