[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: At a time when pharmaceutical companies are having trouble finding new low MW drugs and when biologics are becoming more common, animal venoms could constitute an underexploited source of novel drug candidates. We looked for identifying novel animal toxins active against G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR), the most frequently exploited class of treatment targets, with the aim to develop novel research tools and drug candidates. Screening of green mamba (Dendroaspis angusticeps) venom against adrenoceptors identified two novel venom peptides. ρ-Da1a shown an affinity of 0.35 nM for the α1a-AR while ρ-Da1b displayed affinities between 14 and 73 nM for the three α2-ARs. These two venom peptides have sequences similar to those of muscarinic toxins and belong to the three-finger-fold protein family. α1a-AR is the primary target for the treatment of prostate hypertrophy. In vitro and in vivo tests demonstrated that ρ-Da1a reduced prostatic muscle tone as efficiently as tamsulosin (an antagonist presently used), but with fewer cardiovascular side effects. α2-ARs are the prototype of GPCRs not currently used as treatment targets due to a lack of specific ligands. Blockage of these receptors increases intestinal motility, which may be compromised by abdominal surgery and reduces orthosteric hypotension. In vitro and in vivo tests demonstrated that ρ-Da1b antagonizes α2-ARs in smooth muscles and increased heart rate and blood catecholamine concentrations. These results highlight possible exploitation of ρ-Da1a and ρ-Da1b in important pathologies.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Muscarinic and adrenergic G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are the targets of rare peptide toxins isolated from snake or cone snail venoms. We used a screen to identify novel toxins from Dendroaspis angusticeps targeting aminergic GPCRs. These toxins may offer new candidates for the development of new tools and drugs.EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH In binding experiments with 3H-rauwolscine, we studied the interactions of green mamba venom fractions with α2-adrenoceptors from rat brain synaptosomes. We isolated, sequenced and chemically synthesized a novel peptide, ρ-Da1b. This peptide was pharmacologically characterized using binding experiments and functional tests on human α2-adrenoceptors expressed in mammalian cells.KEY RESULTS ρ-Da1b, a 66-amino acid peptide stabilized by four disulphide bridges, belongs to the three-finger-fold peptide family. Its synthetic homologue inhibited 80% of 3H-rauwolscine binding to the three α2-adrenoceptor subtypes, with an affinity between 14 and 73 nM and Hill slopes close to unity. Functional experiments on α2A-adrenoceptor demonstrated that ρ-Da1b is an antagonist, shifting adrenaline activation curves to the right. Schild regression revealed slopes of 0.97 and 0.67 and pA2 values of 5.93 and 5.32 for yohimbine and ρ-Da1b, respectively.CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS ρ-Da1b is the first toxin identified to specifically interact with α2-adrenoceptors, extending the list of class A GPCRs sensitive to toxins. Additionally, its affinity and atypical mode of interaction open up the possibility of its use as a new pharmacological tool, in the study of the physiological roles of α2-adrenoceptor subtypes.
British Journal of Pharmacology 10/2010; 161(6):1361 - 1374. · 5.07 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the rat proximal tubule, the alpha(2B)-adrenergic receptor (alpha(2B)-AR) enhances Na(+) reabsorption by increasing the activity of Na(+)/H(+) exchanger isoform NHE3. The mechanisms involved are unclear, and inhibition of cAMP production remains controversial. In this study, we reinvestigated alpha(2B)-AR signaling pathways using rat proximal tubule cells (PTC) in primary culture and LLC-PK(1) cells permanently transfected with the RNG gene (rat nonglycosylated alpha(2)-AR). Binding experiments indicated that PTC express substantial amounts of alpha(2B)-AR (130 fmol/mg protein), and only RNG transcripts were detected. In both cell types, the alpha(2B)-AR is coupled to G protein, and its stimulation by dexmedetomidine, but not by UK-14304, provoked a significant inhibition of the accumulation of cAMP induced by forskolin or parathyroid hormone. Exposure to alpha(2)-agonists increased arachidonic acid release and caused extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2 phosphorylation, which correlated with enhanced mitogen-activated protein kinse (MAPK) activity and nuclear translocation. MAPK phosphorylation was blunted by pertussis toxin but not by protein kinase C desensitization, and it coincided with transient phosphorylation of Shc. Finally, treatment with UK-14304 accelerated cell growth. Further studies will be necessary to clarify the precise mechanism of MAPK activation, but the present data suggest that alpha(2B)-AR may play a positive role during tubular regeneration.
American journal of physiology. Renal physiology 06/2002; 282(5):F943-52. · 3.61 Impact Factor