Identification of the GPR55 Antagonist Binding Site Using a Novel Set of High-Potency GPR55 Selective Ligands

Center for Drug Discovery, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, North Carolina 27402, USA.
Biochemistry (Impact Factor: 3.02). 06/2011; 50(25):5633-47. DOI: 10.1021/bi200010k
Source: PubMed


Marijuana is the most widely abused illegal drug, and its spectrum of effects suggests that several receptors are responsible for the activity. Two cannabinoid receptor subtypes, CB1 and CB2, have been identified, but the complex pharmacological properties of exogenous cannabinoids and endocannabinoids are not fully explained by their signaling. The orphan receptor GPR55 binds a subset of CB1 and CB2 ligands and has been proposed as a cannabinoid receptor. This designation, however, is controversial as a result of recent studies in which lysophosphatidylinositol (LPI) was identified as a GPR55 agonist. Defining a biological role for GPR55 requires GPR55 selective ligands that have been unavailable. From a β-arrestin, high-throughput, high-content screen of 300000 compounds run in collaboration with the Molecular Libraries Probe Production Centers Network initiative (PubChem AID1965), we identified potent GPR55 selective agonists. By modeling of the GPR55 activated state, we compared the GPR55 binding conformations of three of the novel agonists obtained from the screen, CID1792197, CID1172084, and CID2440433 (PubChem Compound IDs), with that of LPI. Our modeling indicates the molecular shapes and electrostatic potential distributions of these agonists mimic those of LPI; the GPR55 binding site accommodates ligands that have inverted-L or T shapes with long, thin profiles that can fit vertically deep in the receptor binding pocket while their broad head regions occupy a horizontal binding pocket near the GPR55 extracellular loops. Our results will allow the optimization and design of second-generation GPR55 ligands and provide a means for distinguishing GPR55 selective ligands from those interacting with cannabinoid receptors.

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    • "Only a few selective GPR55 receptor antagonists have been recently discovered. These include CID16020046 by Kargl and coworkers [24], compounds ML193, ML192 and ML191 by Heynen- Genel et al. [25] [26] identified in collaboration with the Molecular Libraries Probe Production Centers Network initiative, and coumarin derivatives by Rempel et al. [27] In addition, some magnolol derivatives have been recently reported to behave as GPR55 antagonist, though retaining activity at additional receptors [28]. The aim of our study was to design and synthesize a series of selective and potent GPR55 agonists which do not interact with various endocannabinoid targets. "
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    ABSTRACT: To date, many known G protein-coupled receptor 55 (GPR55) ligands are those identified among the cannabinoids. In order to further study the function of GPR55, new potent and selective ligands are needed. In this study, we utilized the screening results from PubChem bioassay AID 1961 which reports the results of Image-based HTS for Selective Agonists of GPR55. Three compounds, CID1792579, CID1252842 and CID1011163, were further evaluated and used as a starting point to create a series of nanomolar potency GPR55 agonists with N-(4-sulfamoylphenyl)thiourea scaffold. The GPR55 activity of the compounds were screened by using a commercial β-arrestin PathHunter assay and the potential compounds were further evaluated by using a recombinant HEK cell line exhibiting GPR55-mediated effects on calcium signalling. The designed compounds were not active when tested against various endocannabinoid targets (CB1R, CB2R, FAAH, MGL, ABHD6 and ABHD12), indicating compounds' selectivity for the GPR55. Finally, structure-activity relationships of these compounds were explored.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: Emerging data suggest that off-target cannabinoid effects may be mediated via novel seven-transmembrane spanning/G protein-coupled receptors. Due to its cannabinoid sensitivity, the G protein-coupled receptor 55 (GPR55) was recently proposed as a candidate; however, GPR55 is phylogenetically distinct from the traditional cannabinoid receptors, and the conflicting pharmacology, signaling, and functional data have prevented its classification as a novel cannabinoid receptor. Indeed, the most consistent and potent agonist to date is the noncannabinoid lysophospholipid, lysophosphatidylinositol. Here we present new human GPR55 mRNA expression data, providing supportive evidence of GPR55 expression in a vast array of tissues and cell types. Moreover, we summarize major recent developments in GPR55 research and aim to update the reader in the rapidly expanding fields of GPR55 pharmacology, physiology, and pathology.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2011 · Molecular Endocrinology
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    ABSTRACT: GPR55 is activated by l-α-lysophosphatidylinositol (LPI) but also by certain cannabinoids. In this study, we investigated the GPR55 pharmacology of various cannabinoids, including analogues of the CB1 receptor antagonist Rimonabant®, CB2 receptor agonists, and Cannabis sativa constituents. To test ERK1/2 phosphorylation, a primary downstream signaling pathway that conveys LPI-induced activation of GPR55, a high throughput system, was established using the AlphaScreen® SureFire® assay. Here, we show that CB1 receptor antagonists can act both as agonists alone and as inhibitors of LPI signaling under the same assay conditions. This study clarifies the controversy surrounding the GPR55-mediated actions of SR141716A; some reports indicate the compound to be an agonist and some report antagonism. In contrast, we report that the CB2 ligand GW405833 behaves as a partial agonist of GPR55 alone and enhances LPI signaling. GPR55 has been implicated in pain transmission, and thus our results suggest that this receptor may be responsible for some of the antinociceptive actions of certain CB2 receptor ligands. The phytocannabinoids Δ9-tetrahydrocannabivarin, cannabidivarin, and cannabigerovarin are also potent inhibitors of LPI. These Cannabis sativa constituents may represent novel therapeutics targeting GPR55.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2012 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
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