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

GPR55 is a class A G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) that has been implicated in inflammatory pain, neuropathic pain, metabolic disorder, bone development, and cancer. Initially deorphanized as a cannabinoid receptor, GPR55 has been shown to be activated by non-cannabinoid ligands such as L-alpha-lysophosphatidylinositol (LPI). While there is a growing body of evidence of physiological and pathophysiological roles for GPR55, the paucity of specific antagonists has limited its study. In collaboration with the Molecular Libraries Probe Production Centers Network initiative, we identified a series of GPR55 antagonists using a beta-arrestin, high-throughput, high-content screen of similar to 300000 compounds. This screen yielded novel, GPR55 antagonist chemotypes with IC50 values in the range of 0.16-2.72 mu M [Heynen-Genel, S., et al. (2010) Screening for Selective Ligands for GPR55: Antagonists (ML191, ML192, ML193) (Bookshelf ID NBK66153; PMID entry 22091481)]. Importantly, many of the GPR55 antagonists were completely selective, with no agonism or antagonism against GPR35, CB1, or CB2 up to 20 mu M. Using a model of the GPR55 inactive state, we studied the binding of an antagonist series that emerged from this screen. These studies suggest that GPR55 antagonists possess a head region that occupies a horizontal binding pocket extending into the extracellular loop region, a central ligand portion that fits vertically in the receptor binding pocket and terminates with a pendant aromatic or heterocyclic ring that juts out. Both the region that extends extracellularly and the pendant ring are features associated with antagonism. Taken together, our results provide a set of design rules for the development of second-generation GPR55 selective antagonists


Kotsikorou, E., Sharir, H., Shore, DM., Hurst, DP., Lynch, DL., Madrigal, KE., ... Reggio, PH. (2013). Identification of the GPR55 Antagonist Binding Site Using a Novel Set of High-Potency GPR55 Selective Ligands. Biochemistry, 52(52), 9456-9469. https://doi.org/10.1021/bi4008885

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