A molecular mechanism for the cleavage of a disulfide bond as the primary function of agonist binding to G-protein-coupled receptors based on theoretical calculations supported by experiments.
A model of the binding site of delta-opioids in the extracellular region of the G-protein-coupled opioid receptor based on modelling studies is presented. The distance between Asp288 and the disulfide bridge (Cys121-Cys198) formed between the first and second extracellular loops was found to be short. This model is consistent with site-directed mutagenesis studies. The arrangement of the ligands found in the receptor led to the development of a reaction mechanism for the cleavage of the disulfide bond catalysed by the ligands. Semi-empirical quantum chemical PM3 and AM1 calculations as well as ab initio studies showed that the interaction between the carboxylic acid side chain of aspartic acid and the disulfide bond leads to the polarization of, and withdrawal of a proton from, the protonated nitrogen of the ligand to one of the sulfur atoms. A mixed sulfenic acid and carboxylic acid anhydrate is formed as an intermediate as well as a thiol. The accompanying cleavage of the disulfide bond may produce a conformational change in the extracellular loops such that the pore formed by the seven-helix bundle opens allowing entrance of the ligand, water and ions into the cell. Cleavage of the disulfide bond after opioid administration was demonstrated experimentally by flow-cytometric measurements employing CMTMR and monobromobimane-based analyses of membrane-located thiols. The suggested mechanism may explain, in a consistent way, the action of agonists and antagonists and is assumed to be common for many G-protein coupled receptors. (+info)
Interactions between cholecystokinin and opioids in the isolated guinea-pig ileum.
1. Although cholecystokinin octapeptide sulphate (CCK-8) activates the opioid system of isolated guinea-pig ileum (GPI) whether it activates the mu- or kappa-system, or both, remains unclear. Neither is it known whether CCK-8 influences the withdrawal responses in GPI preparations briefly exposed to opioid agonists. This study was designed to clarify whether CCK-8 activates mu- or kappa-opioid systems or both; and to investigate its effect on the withdrawal contractures in GPI exposed to mu- or kappa-agonists and on the development of tolerance to the withdrawal response. 2. In GPI exposed to CCK-8, the selective kappa-antagonist nor-binaltorphimine elicited contractile responses that were concentration-related to CCK-8 whereas the selective mu-antagonist cyprodime did not. 3. In GPI preparations briefly exposed to the selective mu-agonist, dermorphin, or the selective kappa-agonist, U-50, 488H, and then challenged with naloxone, CCK-8 strongly enhanced the withdrawal contractures. 4. During repeated opioid agonist/CCK-8/opioid antagonist tests tolerance to opioid-induced withdrawal responses did not develop. 5. These results show that CCK-8 preferentially activates the GPI kappa-opioid system and antagonizes the mechanism(s) that control the expression of acute dependence in the GPI. (+info)
Inhibition by levorphanol and related drugs of amino acid transport by isolated membrane vesicles from Escherichia coli.
Levorphanol inhibits the transport of the amino acids proline and lysine by cytoplasmic membrane vesicles derived from Escherichia coli. The degree of inhibition increases with increasing levorphanol concentration and ranges from 26% at 10(-6) M levorphanol to 92% at 10(-3) M levorphanol. The effect is independent of the energy source, since levorphanol inhibits proline uptake to the same extent in the presence of 20 mM d-lactate or 20 mM succinate and in the absence of an exogenous energy source. Levorphanol does not irreversibly alter the ability of membrane vesicles to transport proline, since incubation of membrane vesicles for 15 min in the presence of 0.25 mM levorphanol, a concentration which inhibits proline transport by more than 75%, has no effect on the rate of proline transport by these vesicles once the drug is removed. Both the maximum velocity and the K(m) of proline transport are modified by levorphanol, hence, the type of inhibition produced by levorphanol is mixed. The inhibitor constant (K(i)) for levorphanol inhibition of proline transport is approximately 3 x 10(-4) M. Membrane vesicles incubated in the presence of levorphanol accumulate much less proline at the steady state than do control vesicles. Furthermore, the addition of levorphanol to membrane vesicles preloaded to the steady state with proline produces a marked net efflux of proline. Levorphanol does not block either temperature-induced efflux or exchange of external proline with [(14)C]proline present in the intravesicular pool. Dextrorphan, the enantiomorph of levorphanol, and levallorphan, the N-allyl analogue of levorphanol, inhibit proline and lysine transport in a similar manner. Possible mechanisms of the effects of these drugs on cell membranes are discussed. (+info)
TRK-820, a selective kappa-opioid agonist, produces potent antinociception in cynomolgus monkeys.
TRK-820 ((-)-17-cyclopropylmethyl-3,14b-dihydroxy-4,5a-epoxy-6b-[N-methyl-trans-3-(3-fury l)acrylamide]morphinan hydrochloride) has been shown to be a potent opioid kappa-receptor agonist with pharmacological properties different from those produced by kappa1-opioid receptor agonists in rodents. To ascertain whether or not these properties of TRK-820 would be extended to primates, the antinociceptive effect of TRK-820 was evaluated in cynomolgus monkeys by the hot-water tail-withdrawal procedure. TRK-820 given intramuscularly (i.m.) produced a potent antinociceptive effect that was 295- and 495-fold more potent than morphine with the 50 degrees C and 55 degrees C hot-water tests, respectively, and 40-fold more potent than U-50,488H and 1,000-fold more potent than pentazocine in the 50 degrees C hot-water test. The duration of antinociceptive effects of TRK-820 treatment (0.01 and 0.03 mg/kg, i.m.) lasted more than 6 h, which was much longer than those of U-50,488H. The antinociception produced by the higher dose (0.03 mg/kg, i.m.) of TRK-820 was not inhibited by nor-binaltorphimine (3.2 and 10 mg/kg, s.c.) or by naloxone (0.1 mg/kg, s.c.), although the antinociception induced by a lower dose of TRK-820 (0.01 mg/kg, i.m.) was inhibited by nor-binaltorphimine (10 mg/kg, s.c.). The same doses of nor-binaltorphimine and naloxone effectively inhibited the antinociception induced by the higher doses of U-50,488H (1.0 mg/kg, i.m.) and morphine (10 mg/kg, i.m.), respectively. These results indicate that the antinociception induced by TRK-820 is less sensitive to nor-binaltorphimine and suggest that it is mediated by the stimulation of a subtype of kappa-opioid receptor different from the kappa-opioid receptor in cynomolgus monkeys. (+info)
Sigma-2 receptor agonists activate a novel apoptotic pathway and potentiate antineoplastic drugs in breast tumor cell lines.
We have reported previously that sigma-2 receptors are expressed in high densities in a variety of tumor cell types (B. J. Vilner et al., Cancer Res., 55: 408-413, 1995) and that various sigma ligands have cytotoxic effects (B. J. Vilner et al., J. Neurosci., 15: 117-134, 1995). Other investigators have demonstrated increased expression of sigma-2 receptors in rapidly proliferating tumors (R. H. Mach et al., Cancer Res., 57: 156-161, 1997) and the ability of some sigma ligands to inhibit proliferation (P. J. Brent and G. T. Pang, Eur. J. Pharmacol., 278: 151-160, 1995). We demonstrate here the ability of sigma-2 receptor agonists to induce cell death by a mechanism consistent with apoptosis. In breast tumor cell lines that are sensitive (MCF-7) and resistant (MCF-7/Adr-, T47D, and SKBr3) to antineoplastic agents, incubation with the sigma-2 subtype-selective agonists CB-64D and CB-184 produced dose-dependent cytotoxicity (measured by lactate dehydrogenase release into medium). The EC(50) for this response was similar across cell lines, irrespective of p53 genotype and drug-resistance phenotype. CB-64D and the subtype nonselective sigma-2 agonists haloperidol and reduced haloperidol induced terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling staining in MCF-7 and T47D cells, indicating that cell death occurs via apoptosis. Apoptosis was also indicated by increases in Annexin V binding caused by CB-64D. In MCF-7 cells, cytotoxicity and Annexin V binding induced by the antineoplastics doxorubicin and actinomycin D was partially or completely abrogated by certain specific and general inhibitors of caspases. In contrast, caspase inhibitors had no effect on sigma-2 receptor-mediated (CB-64D and CB-184) cytotoxicity or Annexin V binding. Marked potentiation of cytotoxicity was observed when a subtoxic dose of CB-184 was combined with doxorubicin or actinomycin D, both in drug-sensitive (MCF-7) and drug-resistant (MCF-7/Adr-) cell lines. Haloperidol potentiated doxorubicin only in drug-resistant cells. These findings suggest the involvement of a novel p53- and caspase-independent apoptotic pathway used by sigma-2 receptors, which is distinct from mechanisms used by some DNA-damaging, antineoplastic agents and other apoptotic stimuli. These observations further suggest that sigma-2 receptors may be targets that can be therapeutically exploited in the treatment of both drug-sensitive and drug-resistant metastatic tumors. (+info)
Untangling ligand induced activation and desensitization of G-protein-coupled receptors.
Long-term treatment with a drug to a G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) often leads to receptor-mediated desensitization, limiting the therapeutic lifetime of the drug. To better understand how this therapeutic window might be controlled, we created a mechanistic Monte Carlo model of the early steps in GPCR signaling and desensitization. Using this model we found that the rates of G-protein activation and receptor phosphorylation can be partially decoupled by varying the drug-receptor dissociation rate constant, k(off), and the drug's efficacy, alpha. The maximum ratio of G-protein activation to receptor phosphorylation (GARP) was found for drugs with an intermediate k(off) value and small alpha-value. Changes to the cellular environment, such as changes in the diffusivity of membrane molecules and the G-protein inactivation rate constant, affected the GARP value of a drug but did not change the characteristic shape of the GARP curve. These model results are examined in light of experimental data for a number of GPCRs and are found to be in good agreement, lending support to the idea that the desensitization properties of a drug might be tailored to suit a specific application. (+info)
Anti-amnesic effect of dimemorfan in mice.
(1) Dimemorfan, an antitussive for more than 25 years, has previously been reported to be a relative high-affinity ligand at sigma-1 (sigma(1)) receptor with the K(i) value of 151 nM. (2) To test whether dimemorfan has anti-amnesic effects similar to a sigma(1) receptor agonist, this study examined its effects on scopolamine- and beta-amyloid peptide-(25-35)-induced amnesia in mice. (3) Dimemorfan (10-40 mg kg(-1), i.p.) administered 30 min before the training trial, immediately after the training trial, or 30 min before the retention test significantly improved scopolamine (1 mg kg(-1), i.p.)- or beta-amyloid peptide-(25-35) (3 nmol mouse(-1), i.c.v.)-induced amnesia in a step-through passive avoidance test. Dimemorfan (5-40 mg kg(-1), i.p.) pretreatment also attenuated scopolamine (8 mg kg(-1), i.p.)-induced amnesia in a water-maze test. And, these anti-amnesic effects of dimemorfan, like the putative sigma(1) receptor agonist (+)-N-allylnormetazocine ((+)-SKF-10047), were antagonized by a sigma receptor antagonist haloperidol (0.25 mg kg(-1), i.p.). (4) These results indicated that dimemorfan has anti-amnesic effects and acts like a sigma(1) receptor agonist. (+info)
Activation of delta- and kappa-opioid receptors by opioid peptides protects cardiomyocytes via KATP channels.
To examine the receptor specificity and the mechanism of opioid peptide-induced protection, we examined freshly isolated adult rabbit cardiomyocytes subjected to simulated ischemia. Cell death as a function of time was assessed by trypan blue permeability. Dynorphin B (DynB) and Met5-enkephalin (ME) limitation of cell death (expressed as area under the curve) was sensitive to blockade by naltrindole (NTI, a delta-selective antagonist) and 5'-guanidinyl-17-(cyclopropylmethyl)-6,7-dehydro-4,5alpha-epoxy-3,14-dihydroxy-6, 7-2',3'-indolomorphinan (GNTI dihydrochloride, a kappa-selective antagonist): 85.7 +/- 2.7 and 142.9 +/- 2.7 with DynB and DynB + NTI, respectively (P < 0.001), 94.1 +/- 4.2 and 164.5 +/- 7.3 with DynB and DynB + GNTI, respectively (P < 0.001), 111.9 +/- 7.0 and 192.1 +/- 6.4 with ME and ME + NTI, respectively (P < 0.001), and 120.2 +/- 4.3 and 170.0 +/- 3.3 with ME and ME + GNTI, respectively (P < 0.001). Blockade of ATP-sensitive K+ channels eliminated DynB- and ME-induced protection: 189.6 +/- 5.4 and 139.0 +/- 5.4 for control and ME, respectively (P < 0.001), and 210 +/- 5.9 and 195 +/- 6.1 for 5-HD and ME + 5-HD, respectively (P < 0.001); 136.0 +/- 5.7 and 63.4 +/- 5.4 for control and ME, respectively (P < 0.001), and 144.6 +/- 4.5 and 114.6 +/- 7.7 for HMR-1098 and ME + HMR-1098, respectively (P < 0.01); 189.6 +/- 5.4 and 139.0 +/- 5.4 for control and ME, respectively (P < 0.001), and 210 +/- 5.9 and 195 +/- 6.1 for 5-HD and ME + 5-HD, respectively (P < 0.001); and 136.0 +/- 5.7 and 63.4 +/- 5.4 for control and ME, respectively (P < 0.001), and 144.6 +/- 4.5 and 114.6 +/- 7.7 for HMR-1098 and ME + HMR-1098, respectively (P < 0.01). We conclude that opioid peptide-induced cardioprotection is mediated by delta- and kappa-receptors and involves sarcolemmal and mitochondrial ATP-sensitive K+ channels. (+info)