Publications by authors named "Roger J Summers"

98 Publications

GPR55 regulates the responsiveness to, but does not dimerise with, α-adrenoceptors.

Biochem Pharmacol 2021 May 1;188:114560. Epub 2021 May 1.

Cardiometabolic Health Research, School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences, Robert Gordon University, Sir Ian Wood Building, Aberdeen AB10 7GJ, UK.

Emerging evidence suggests that G protein coupled receptor 55 (GPR55) may influence adrenoceptor function/activity in the cardiovascular system. Whether this reflects direct interaction (dimerization) between receptors or signalling crosstalk has not been investigated. This study explored the interaction between GPR55 and the alpha 1A-adrenoceptor (α-AR) in the cardiovascular system and the potential to influence function/signalling activities. GPR55 and α-AR mediated changes in both cardiac and vascular function was assessed in male wild-type (WT) and GPR55 homozygous knockout (GPR55) mice by pressure volume loop analysis and isolated vessel myography, respectively. Dimerization of GPR55 with the α-AR was examined in transfected Chinese hamster ovary-K1 (CHO-K1) cells via Bioluminescence Resonance Energy Transfer (BRET). GPR55 and α-AR mediated signalling (extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) phosphorylation) was investigated in neonatal rat ventricular cardiomyocytes using AlphaScreen proximity assays. GPR55 mice exhibited both enhanced pressor and inotropic responses to A61603 (α-AR agonist), while in isolated vessels, A61603 induced vasoconstriction was attenuated by a GPR55-dependent mechanism. Conversely, GPR55-mediated vasorelaxation was not altered by pharmacological blockade of α-ARs with tamsulosin. While cellular studies demonstrated that GPR55 and α-AR failed to dimerize, pharmacological blockade of GPR55 altered α-AR mediated signalling and reduced ERK1/2 phosphorylation. Taken together, this study provides evidence that GPR55 and α-AR do not dimerize to form heteromers, but do interact at the signalling level to modulate the function of α-AR in the cardiovascular system.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bcp.2021.114560DOI Listing
May 2021

Pharmacological Insights Into Safety and Efficacy Determinants for the Development of Adenosine Receptor Biased Agonists in the Treatment of Heart Failure.

Front Pharmacol 2021 11;12:628060. Epub 2021 Mar 11.

Drug Discovery Biology, Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Monash University, Parkville, VIC, Australia.

Adenosine A receptors (AR) are a potential target for cardiac injury treatment due to their cardioprotective/antihypertrophic actions, but drug development has been hampered by on-target side effects such as bradycardia and altered renal hemodynamics. Biased agonism has emerged as an attractive mechanism for AR-mediated cardioprotection that is haemodynamically safe. Here we investigate the pre-clinical pharmacology, efficacy and side-effect profile of the AR agonist neladenoson, shown to be safe but ineffective in phase IIb trials for the treatment of heart failure. We compare this agent with the well-characterized, pan-adenosine receptor (AR) agonist NECA, capadenoson, and the AR biased agonist VCP746, previously shown to be safe and cardioprotective in pre-clinical models of heart failure. We show that like VCP746, neladenoson is biased away from Ca influx relative to NECA and the cAMP pathway at the AR, a profile predictive of a lack of adenosine-like side effects. Additionally, neladenoson was also biased away from the MAPK pathway at the AR. In contrast to VCP746, which displays more 'adenosine-like' signaling at the AR, neladenoson was a highly selective AR agonist, with biased, weak agonism at the AR. Together these results show that unwanted hemodynamic effects of AR agonists can be avoided by compounds biased away from Ca influx relative to cAMP, relative to NECA. The failure of neladenoson to reach primary endpoints in clinical trials suggests that AR-mediated cAMP inhibition may be a poor indicator of effectiveness in chronic heart failure. This study provides additional information that can aid future screening and/or design of improved AR agonists that are safe and efficacious in treating heart failure in patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2021.628060DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7991592PMC
March 2021

The metabolic effects of mirabegron are mediated primarily by β -adrenoceptors.

Pharmacol Res Perspect 2020 10;8(5):e00643

Drug Discovery Biology, Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Monash University, Parkville, Vic., Australia.

The β -adrenoceptor agonist mirabegron is approved for use for overactive bladder and has been purported to be useful in the treatment of obesity-related metabolic diseases in humans, including those involving disturbances of glucose homeostasis. We investigated the effect of mirabegron on glucose homeostasis with in vitro and in vivo models, focusing on its selectivity at β-adrenoceptors, ability to cause browning of white adipocytes, and the role of UCP1 in glucose homeostasis. In mouse brown, white, and brite adipocytes, mirabegron-mediated effects were examined on cyclic AMP, UCP1 mRNA, [ H]-2-deoxyglucose uptake, cellular glycolysis, and O consumption. Mirabegron increased cyclic AMP levels, UCP1 mRNA content, glucose uptake, and cellular glycolysis in brown adipocytes, and these effects were either absent or reduced in white adipocytes. In brite adipocytes, mirabegron increased cyclic AMP levels and UCP1 mRNA content resulting in increased UCP1-mediated oxygen consumption, glucose uptake, and cellular glycolysis. The metabolic effects of mirabegron in both brown and brite adipocytes were primarily due to actions at β -adrenoceptors as they were largely absent in adipocytes derived from β -adrenoceptor knockout mice. In vivo, mirabegron increased whole body oxygen consumption, glucose uptake into brown and inguinal white adipose tissue, and improved glucose tolerance, all effects that required the presence of the β -adrenoceptor. Furthermore, in UCP1 knockout mice, the effects of mirabegron on glucose tolerance were attenuated. Thus, mirabegron had effects on cellular metabolism in adipocytes that improved glucose handling in vivo, and were primarily due to actions at the β -adrenoceptor.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/prp2.643DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7437350PMC
October 2020

AT1R-AT2R-RXFP1 Functional Crosstalk in Myofibroblasts: Impact on the Therapeutic Targeting of Renal and Cardiac Fibrosis.

J Am Soc Nephrol 2019 11 11;30(11):2191-2207. Epub 2019 Sep 11.

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and

Background: Recombinant human relaxin-2 (serelaxin), which has organ-protective actions mediated its cognate G protein-coupled receptor relaxin family peptide receptor 1 (RXFP1), has emerged as a potential agent to treat fibrosis. Studies have shown that serelaxin requires the angiotensin II (AngII) type 2 receptor (ATR) to ameliorate renal fibrogenesis and . Whether its antifibrotic actions are affected by modulation of the AngII type 1 receptor (ATR), which is expressed on myofibroblasts along with RXFP1 and ATR, is unknown.

Methods: We examined the signal transduction mechanisms of serelaxin when applied to primary rat renal and human cardiac myofibroblasts , and in three models of renal- or cardiomyopathy-induced fibrosis .

Results: The ATR blockers irbesartan and candesartan abrogated antifibrotic signal transduction of serelaxin RXFP1 and . Candesartan also ameliorated serelaxin's antifibrotic actions in the left ventricle of mice with cardiomyopathy, indicating that candesartan's inhibitory effects were not confined to the kidney. We also demonstrated in a transfected cell system that serelaxin did not directly bind to ATRs but that constitutive ATR-RXFP1 interactions could form. To potentially explain these findings, we also demonstrated that renal and cardiac myofibroblasts expressed all three receptors and that antagonists acting at each receptor directly or allosterically blocked the antifibrotic effects of either serelaxin or an ATR agonist (compound 21).

Conclusions: These findings have significant implications for the concomitant use of RXFP1 or ATR agonists with ATR blockers, and suggest that functional interactions between the three receptors on myofibroblasts may represent new targets for controlling fibrosis progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1681/ASN.2019060597DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6830801PMC
November 2019

Adrenoceptors-New roles for old players.

Br J Pharmacol 2019 07;176(14):2339-2342

Drug Discovery Biology, Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Monash University, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.

Linked Articles: This article is part of a themed section on Adrenoceptors-New Roles for Old Players. To view the other articles in this section visit http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bph.v176.14/issuetoc.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.14701DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6592857PMC
July 2019

Drug-receptor kinetics and sigma-1 receptor affinity differentiate clinically evaluated histamine H receptor antagonists.

Neuropharmacology 2019 01 22;144:244-255. Epub 2018 Oct 22.

Drug Discovery Biology, Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Monash University, Parkville, Victoria, Australia. Electronic address:

The histamine H receptor is a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) drug target that is highly expressed in the CNS, where it acts as both an auto- and hetero-receptor to regulate neurotransmission. As such, it has been considered as a relevant target in disorders as varied as Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia, neuropathic pain and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. A range of competitive antagonists/inverse agonists have progressed into clinical development, with pitolisant approved for the treatment of narcolepsy. Given the breadth of compounds developed and potential therapeutic indications, we assessed the comparative pharmacology of six investigational histamine H agents, including pitolisant, using native tissue and recombinant cells. Whilst all of the compounds tested displayed robust histamine H receptor inverse agonism and did not differentiate between the main H receptor splice variants, they displayed a wide range of affinities and kinetic properties, and included rapidly dissociating (pitolisant, S 38093-2, ABT-239) and slowly dissociating (GSK189254, JNJ-5207852, PF-3654746) agents. S 38093-2 had the lowest histamine H receptor affinity (pK values 5.7-6.2), seemingly at odds with previously reported, potent in vivo activity in models of cognition. We show here that at pro-cognitive and anti-hyperalgesic/anti-allodynic doses, S 38093-2 preferentially occupies the mouse sigma-1 receptor in vivo, only engaging the histamine H receptor at doses associated with wakefulness promotion and neurotransmitter (histamine, ACh) release. Furthermore, pitolisant, ABT-239 and PF-3654746 also displayed appreciable sigma-1 receptor affinity, suggesting that this property differentiates clinically evaluated histamine H receptor antagonists and may play a role in their efficacy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropharm.2018.10.028DOI Listing
January 2019

Molecular pharmacology of GPCRs.

Br J Pharmacol 2018 11;175(21):4005-4008

Drug Discovery Biology, Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Monash University, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.

Linked Articles: This article is part of a themed section on Molecular Pharmacology of GPCRs. To view the other articles in this section visit http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bph.v175.21/issuetoc.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.14474DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6177621PMC
November 2018

Rosiglitazone and a β-Adrenoceptor Agonist Are Both Required for Functional Browning of White Adipocytes in Culture.

Front Endocrinol (Lausanne) 2018 30;9:249. Epub 2018 May 30.

Drug Discovery Biology, Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Monash University, Parkville, VIC, Australia.

The recruitment of brite (or beige) adipocytes has been advocated as a means to combat obesity, due to their ability to phenotypically resemble brown adipocytes (BA). Lineage studies indicate that brite adipocytes are formed by differentiation of precursor cells or by direct conversion of existing white adipocytes, depending on the adipose depot examined. We have systematically compared the gene expression profile and a functional output (oxygen consumption) in mouse adipocytes cultured from two contrasting depots, namely interscapular brown adipose tissue, and inguinal white adipose tissue (iWAT), following treatment with a known browning agent, the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPARγ) activator rosiglitazone. Prototypical BA readily express uncoupling protein (UCP)1, and upstream regulators including the β-adrenoceptor and transcription factors involved in energy homeostasis. Adipocytes from inguinal WAT display maximal UCP1 expression and mitochondrial uncoupling only when treated with a combination of the PPARγ activator rosiglitazone and a β-adrenoceptor agonist. In conclusion, brite adipocytes are fully activated only when a browning agent (rosiglitazone) and a thermogenic agent (β-adrenoceptor agonist) are added in combination. The presence of rosiglitazone throughout the 7-day culture period partially masks the effects of β-adrenoceptor signaling in inguinal white adipocyte cultures, whereas including rosiglitazone only for the first 3 days promotes robust β-adrenoceptor expression and provides an improved window for detection of β-adrenoceptor responses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fendo.2018.00249DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5992408PMC
May 2018

Comparative genotypic and phenotypic analysis of human peripheral blood monocytes and surrogate monocyte-like cell lines commonly used in metabolic disease research.

PLoS One 2018 10;13(5):e0197177. Epub 2018 May 10.

Drug Discovery Biology, Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Monash University, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.

Monocyte-like cell lines (MCLCs), including THP-1, HL-60 and U-937 cells, are used routinely as surrogates for isolated human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). To systematically evaluate these immortalised cells and PBMCs as model systems to study inflammation relevant to the pathogenesis of type II diabetes and immuno-metabolism, we compared mRNA expression of inflammation-relevant genes, cell surface expression of cluster of differentiation (CD) markers, and chemotactic responses to inflammatory stimuli. Messenger RNA expression analysis suggested most genes were present at similar levels across all undifferentiated cells, though notably, IDO1, which encodes for indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase and catabolises tryptophan to kynureninase (shown to be elevated in serum from diabetic patients), was not expressed in any PMA-treated MCLC, but present in GM-CSF-treated PBMCs. There was little overall difference in the pattern of expression of CD markers across all cells, though absolute expression levels varied considerably and the correlation between MCLCs and PBMCs was improved upon MCLC differentiation. Functionally, THP-1 and PBMCs migrated in response to chemoattractants in a transwell assay, with varying sensitivity to MCP-1, MIP-1α and LTB-4. However, despite similar gene and CD expression profiles, U-937 cells were functionally impaired as no migration was observed to any chemoattractant. Our analysis reveals that the MCLCs examined only partly replicate the genotypic and phenotypic properties of human PBMCs. To overcome such issues a universal differentiation protocol should be implemented for these cell lines, similar to those already used with isolated monocytes. Although not perfect, in our hands the THP-1 cells represent the closest, simplified surrogate model of PBMCs for study of inflammatory cell migration.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0197177PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5944989PMC
July 2018

Divergent effects of strontium and calcium-sensing receptor positive allosteric modulators (calcimimetics) on human osteoclast activity.

Br J Pharmacol 2018 11 3;175(21):4095-4108. Epub 2018 Jun 3.

Drug Discovery Biology, Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Monash University, Parkville, VIC, Australia.

Background And Purpose: Strontium ranelate, a drug approved and until recently used for the treatment of osteoporosis, mediates its effects on bone at least in part via the calcium-sensing (CaS) receptor. However, it is not known whether bone-targeted CaS receptor positive allosteric modulators (PAMs; calcimimetics) represent an alternative (or adjunctive) therapy to strontium (Sr ).

Experimental Approach: We assessed three structurally distinct calcimimetics [cinacalcet, AC-265347 and a benzothiazole tri-substituted urea (BTU-compound 13)], alone and in combination with extracellular calcium (Ca ) or Sr , in G protein-dependent signalling assays and trafficking experiments in HEK293 cells and their effects on cell differentiation, tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) activity and hydroxyapatite resorption assays in human blood-derived osteoclasts.

Key Results: Sr activated CaS receptor-dependent signalling in HEK293 cells in a similar manner to Ca , and inhibited the maturation, TRAP expression and hydroxyapatite resorption capacity of human osteoclasts. Calcimimetics potentiated Ca - and Sr -mediated CaS receptor signalling in HEK293 cells with distinct biased profiles, and only cinacalcet chaperoned an endoplasmic reticulum-retained CaS mutant receptor to the cell surface in HEK293 cells, indicative of a conformational state different from that engendered by AC-265347 and BTU-compound 13. Intriguingly, only cinacalcet modulated human osteoclast function, reducing TRAP activity and profoundly inhibiting resorption.

Conclusion And Implications: Although AC-265347 and BTU-compound 13 potentiated Ca - and Sr -induced CaS receptor activation, they neither replicated nor potentiated the ability of Sr to inhibit human osteoclast function. In contrast, the FDA-approved calcimimetic, cinacalcet, inhibited osteoclast TRAP activity and hydroxyapatite resorption, which may contribute to its clinical effects on bone mineral density LINKED ARTICLES: This article is part of a themed section on Molecular Pharmacology of GPCRs. To view the other articles in this section visit http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bph.v175.21/issuetoc.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.14344DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6177624PMC
November 2018

INSL5 activates multiple signalling pathways and regulates GLP-1 secretion in NCI-H716 cells.

J Mol Endocrinol 2018 04;60(3):213-224

Drug Discovery BiologyMonash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Monash University, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.

Insulin-like peptide 5 (INSL5) is a newly discovered gut hormone expressed in colonic enteroendocrine L-cells but little is known about its biological function. Here, we show using RT-qPCR and hybridisation that mRNA is highly expressed in the mouse colonic mucosa, colocalised with proglucagon immunoreactivity. In comparison, mRNA for RXFP4 (the cognate receptor for INSL5) is expressed in various mouse tissues, including the intestinal tract. We show that the human enteroendocrine L-cell model NCI-H716 cell line, and goblet-like colorectal cell lines SW1463 and LS513 endogenously express Stimulation of NCI-H716 cells with INSL5 produced phosphorylation of ERK1/2 (Thr/Tyr), AKT (Thr and Ser) and S6RP (Ser) and inhibited cAMP production but did not stimulate Ca release. Acute INSL5 treatment had no effect on GLP-1 secretion mediated by carbachol or insulin, but modestly inhibited forskolin-stimulated GLP-1 secretion in NCI-H716 cells. However, chronic INSL5 pre-treatment (18 h) increased basal GLP-1 secretion and prevented the inhibitory effect of acute INSL5 administration. LS513 cells were found to be unresponsive to INSL5 despite expressing Another enteroendocrine L-cell model, mouse GLUTag cells did not express detectable levels of and were unresponsive to INSL5. This study provides novel insights into possible autocrine/paracrine roles of INSL5 in the intestinal tract.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1530/JME-17-0152DOI Listing
April 2018

G Protein-Coupled Receptors Targeting Insulin Resistance, Obesity, and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.

Pharmacol Rev 2018 01;70(1):39-67

Drug Discovery Biology, Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Monash University, Parkville, Victoria, Australia (D.M.R., R.J.S., P.M.S., C.J.L.); and Institut de Recherches Servier, Pôle d'Innovation Thérapeutique Métabolisme, Suresnes, France (P.D.)

G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) continue to be important discovery targets for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Many GPCRs are directly involved in the development of insulin resistance and -cell dysfunction, and in the etiology of inflammation that can lead to obesity-induced T2DM. This review summarizes the current literature describing a number of well-validated GPCR targets, but also outlines several new and promising targets for drug discovery. We highlight the importance of understanding the role of these receptors in the disease pathology, and their basic pharmacology, which will pave the way to the development of novel pharmacological probes that will enable these targets to fulfill their promise for the treatment of these metabolic disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1124/pr.117.014373DOI Listing
January 2018

α-Adrenoceptors activate mTOR signalling and glucose uptake in cardiomyocytes.

Biochem Pharmacol 2018 02 24;148:27-40. Epub 2017 Nov 24.

Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute, Stockholm University, SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden. Electronic address:

The capacity of G protein-coupled receptors to modulate mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) activity is a newly emerging paradigm with the potential to link cell surface receptors with cell survival. Cardiomyocyte viability is linked to signalling pathways involving Akt and mTOR, as well as increased glucose uptake and utilization. Our aim was to determine whether the α-adrenoceptor (AR) couples to these protective pathways, and increased glucose uptake. We characterised α-AR signalling in CHO-K1 cells co-expressing the human α-AR and GLUT4 (CHOαGLUT4myc) and in neonatal rat ventricular cardiomyocytes (NRVM), and measured glucose uptake, intracellular Ca mobilization, and phosphorylation of mTOR, Akt, 5' adenosine monophosphate-activated kinase (AMPK) and S6 ribosomal protein (S6rp). In both systems, noradrenaline and the α-AR selective agonist A61603 stimulated glucose uptake by parallel pathways involving mTOR and AMPK, whereas another α-AR agonist oxymetazoline increased glucose uptake predominantly by mTOR. All agonists promoted phosphorylation of mTOR at Ser2448 and Ser2481, indicating activation of both mTORC1 and mTORC2, but did not increase Akt phosphorylation. In CHOαGLUT4myc cells, siRNA directed against rictor but not raptor suppressed α-AR mediated glucose uptake. We have thus identified mTORC2 as a key component in glucose uptake stimulated by α-AR agonists. Our findings identify a novel link between the α-AR, mTORC2 and glucose uptake, that have been implicated separately in cardiomyocyte survival. Our studies provide an improved framework for examining the utility of α-AR selective agonists as tools in the treatment of cardiac dysfunction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bcp.2017.11.016DOI Listing
February 2018

The PPARγ agonist rosiglitazone promotes the induction of brite adipocytes, increasing β-adrenoceptor-mediated mitochondrial function and glucose uptake.

Cell Signal 2018 Jan 29;42:54-66. Epub 2017 Sep 29.

Drug Discovery Biology, Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 381 Royal Parade, Monash University, Parkville, Victoria 3052, Australia; Department of Pharmacology, 9 Ancora Imparo Way, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria 3800, Australia. Electronic address:

Recruitment and activation of brite (or beige) adipocytes has been advocated as a potential avenue for manipulating whole-body energy expenditure. Despite numerous studies illustrating the differences in gene and protein markers between brown, brite and white adipocytes, there is very little information on the adrenergic regulation and function of these brite adipocytes. We have compared the functional (cyclic AMP accumulation, oxygen consumption rates, mitochondrial function, glucose uptake, extracellular acidification rates, calcium influx) profiles of mouse adipocytes cultured from three contrasting depots, namely interscapular brown adipose tissue, and inguinal or epididymal white adipose tissues, following chronic treatment with the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) agonist rosiglitazone. Prototypical brown adipocytes readily express β-adrenoceptors, and β-adrenoceptor stimulation increases cyclic AMP accumulation, oxygen consumption rates, mitochondrial function, glucose uptake, and extracellular acidification rates. Treatment of brown adipocytes with rosiglitazone increases uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) levels, and increases β-adrenoceptor mitochondrial function but does not affect glucose uptake responses. In contrast, inguinal white adipocytes only express UCP1 and β-adrenoceptors following rosiglitazone treatment, which results in an increase in all β-adrenoceptor-mediated functions. The effect of rosiglitazone in epididymal white adipocytes, was much lower compared to inguinal white adipocytes. Rosiglitazone also increased α-adrenoceptor mediated increases in calcium influx and glucose uptake (but not mitochondrial function) in inguinal and epididymal white adipocytes. In conclusion, the PPARγ agonist rosiglitazone promotes the induction and function of brite adipocytes cultured from inguinal and epididymal white adipose depots.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cellsig.2017.09.023DOI Listing
January 2018

Structure-function analyses of a pertussis-like toxin from pathogenic reveal a distinct mechanism of inhibition of trimeric G-proteins.

J Biol Chem 2017 09 29;292(36):15143-15158. Epub 2017 Jun 29.

the Department of Animal, Plant and Soil Science and Centre for AgriBioscience, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Victoria 3086, Australia

Pertussis-like toxins are secreted by several bacterial pathogens during infection. They belong to the AB virulence factors, which bind to glycans on host cell membranes for internalization. Host cell recognition and internalization are mediated by toxin B subunits sharing a unique pentameric ring-like assembly. Although the role of pertussis toxin in whooping cough is well-established, pertussis-like toxins produced by other bacteria are less studied, and their mechanisms of action are unclear. Here, we report that some extra-intestinal pathogens ( those that reside in the gut but can spread to other bodily locations) encode a pertussis-like toxin that inhibits mammalian cell growth We found that this protein, Plt, is related to toxins produced by both nontyphoidal and typhoidal serovars. Pertussis-like toxins are secreted as disulfide-bonded heterohexamers in which the catalytic ADP-ribosyltransferase subunit is activated when exposed to the reducing environment in mammalian cells. We found here that the reduced Plt exhibits large structural rearrangements associated with its activation. We noted that inhibitory residues tethered within the NAD-binding site by an intramolecular disulfide in the oxidized state dissociate upon the reduction and enable loop restructuring to form the nucleotide-binding site. Surprisingly, although pertussis toxin targets a cysteine residue within the α subunit of inhibitory trimeric G-proteins, we observed that activated Plt toxin modifies a proximal lysine/asparagine residue instead. In conclusion, our results reveal the molecular mechanism underpinning activation of pertussis-like toxins, and we also identified differences in host target specificity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M117.796094DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5592689PMC
September 2017

ML290 is a biased allosteric agonist at the relaxin receptor RXFP1.

Sci Rep 2017 06 7;7(1):2968. Epub 2017 Jun 7.

Drug Discovery Biology, Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Monash University, Parkville, Australia.

Activation of the relaxin receptor RXFP1 has been associated with improved survival in acute heart failure. ML290 is a small molecule RXFP1 agonist with simple structure, long half-life and high stability. Here we demonstrate that ML290 is a biased agonist in human cells expressing RXFP1 with long-term beneficial actions on markers of fibrosis in human cardiac fibroblasts (HCFs). ML290 did not directly compete with orthosteric relaxin binding and did not affect binding kinetics, but did increase binding to RXFP1. In HEK-RXFP1 cells, ML290 stimulated cAMP accumulation and p38MAPK phosphorylation but not cGMP accumulation or ERK1/2 phosphorylation although prior addition of ML290 increased p-ERK1/2 responses to relaxin. In human primary vascular endothelial and smooth muscle cells that endogenously express RXFP1, ML290 increased both cAMP and cGMP accumulation but not p-ERK1/2. In HCFs, ML290 increased cGMP accumulation but did not affect p-ERK1/2 and given chronically activated MMP-2 expression and inhibited TGF-β1-induced Smad2 and Smad3 phosphorylation. In vascular cells, ML290 was 10x more potent for cGMP accumulation and p-p38MAPK than for cAMP accumulation. ML290 caused strong coupling of RXFP1 to Gα and Gα but weak coupling to Gα. ML290 exhibited signalling bias at RXFP1 possessing a signalling profile indicative of vasodilator and anti-fibrotic properties.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-02916-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5462828PMC
June 2017

Factors influencing biased agonism in recombinant cells expressing the human α -adrenoceptor.

Br J Pharmacol 2017 Jul 10;174(14):2318-2333. Epub 2017 Jun 10.

Drug Discovery Biology, Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Monash University, Parkville, VIC, Australia.

Background And Purpose: Agonists acting at GPCRs promote biased signalling via Gα or Gβγ subunits, GPCR kinases and β-arrestins. Since the demonstration of biased agonism has implications for drug discovery, it is essential to consider confounding factors contributing to bias. We have examined bias at human α -adrenoceptors stably expressed at low levels in CHO-K1 cells, identifying off-target effects at endogenous receptors that contribute to ERK1/2 phosphorylation in response to the agonist oxymetazoline.

Experimental Approach: Intracellular Ca mobilization was monitored in a Flexstation® using Fluo 4-AM. The accumulation of cAMP and ERK1/2 phosphorylation were measured using AlphaScreen® proximity assays, and mRNA expression was measured by RT-qPCR. Ligand bias was determined using the operational model of agonism.

Key Results: Noradrenaline, phenylephrine, methoxamine and A61603 increased Ca mobilization, cAMP accumulation and ERK1/2 phosphorylation. However, oxymetazoline showed low efficacy for Ca mobilization, no effect on cAMP generation and high efficacy for ERK1/2 phosphorylation. The apparent functional selectivity of oxymetazoline towards ERK1/2 was related to off-target effects at 5-HT receptors endogenously expressed in CHO-K1 cells. Phenylephrine and methoxamine showed genuine bias towards ERK1/2 phosphorylation compared to Ca and cAMP pathways, whereas A61603 displayed bias towards cAMP accumulation compared to ERK1/2 phosphorylation.

Conclusion And Implications: We have shown that while adrenergic agonists display bias at human α -adrenoceptors, the marked bias of oxymetazoline for ERK1/2 phosphorylation originates from off-target effects. Commonly used cell lines express a repertoire of endogenous GPCRs that may confound studies on biased agonism at recombinant receptors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.13837DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5481649PMC
July 2017

High throughput, quantitative analysis of human osteoclast differentiation and activity.

Anal Biochem 2017 Feb 14;519:51-56. Epub 2016 Dec 14.

Drug Discovery Biology, Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Monash University, 381 Royal Parade, Parkville, VIC 3052, Australia. Electronic address:

Osteoclasts are multinuclear cells that degrade bone under both physiological and pathophysiological conditions. Osteoclasts are therefore a major target of osteoporosis therapeutics aimed at preserving bone. Consequently, analytical methods for osteoclast activity are useful for the development of novel biomarkers and/or pharmacological agents for the treatment of osteoporosis. The nucleation state of an osteoclast is indicative of its maturation and activity. To date, activity is routinely measured at the population level with only approximate consideration of the nucleation state (an 'osteoclast population' is typically defined as cells with ≥3 nuclei). Using a fluorescent substrate for tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP), a routinely used marker of osteoclast activity, we developed a multi-labelled imaging method for quantitative measurement of osteoclast TRAP activity at the single cell level. Automated image analysis enables interrogation of large osteoclast populations in a high throughput manner using open source software. Using this methodology, we investigated the effects of receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa-B ligand (RANK-L) on osteoclast maturation and activity and demonstrated that TRAP activity directly correlates with osteoclast maturity (i.e. nuclei number). This method can be applied to high throughput screening of osteoclast-targeting compounds to determine changes in maturation and activity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ab.2016.12.010DOI Listing
February 2017

The actions of relaxin family peptides on signal transduction pathways activated by the relaxin family peptide receptor RXFP4.

Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol 2017 Jan 26;390(1):105-111. Epub 2016 Nov 26.

Drug Discovery Biology, Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Monash University, 381 Royal Parade, Parkville, VIC, 3052, Australia.

The relaxin family peptide receptor 4 (RXFP4) is a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) expressed in the colorectum with emerging roles in metabolism and appetite regulation. It is activated by its cognate ligand insulin-like peptide 5 (INSL5) that is expressed in enteroendocrine L cells in the gut. Whether other evolutionarily related peptides such as relaxin-2, relaxin-3, or INSL3 activate RXFP4 signal transduction mechanisms with a pattern similar to or distinct from INSL5 is still unclear. In this study, we compare the signaling pathways activated by various relaxin family peptides to INSL5. We found that, like INSL5, relaxin-3 activated ERK1/2, p38MAPK, Akt, and S6RP phosphorylations leading to increased cell proliferation and also caused GRK and β-arrestin-mediated receptor internalization. Interestingly, relaxin-3 was slightly more potent than INSL5 in ERK1/2 and Akt phosphorylations, but both peptides were almost equipotent in adenylyl cyclase inhibition, S6RP phosphorylation, and cell proliferation. In addition, relaxin-3 showed greater efficacy only in Akt phosphorylation but not in the other pathways investigated. In contrast, no signaling activity or receptor internalization mechanisms were observed following relaxin-2 and INSL3. In conclusion, relaxin-3 is a high-efficacy agonist at RXFP4 with a comparable signal transduction profile to INSL5.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00210-016-1321-8DOI Listing
January 2017

Isoform-Specific Biased Agonism of Histamine H3 Receptor Agonists.

Mol Pharmacol 2017 Feb 18;91(2):87-99. Epub 2016 Nov 18.

Drug Discovery Biology, Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Monash University, Parkville, Victoria, Australia (D.M.R., A.E.C., N.A.D., S.B., R.B., R.J.S., W.N.C., P.M.S., A.C., C.J.L.); and Institut de Recherches Internationales Servier, Suresnes, France (C.M.C., E.M.)

The human histamine H receptor (hHR) is subject to extensive gene splicing that gives rise to a large number of functional and nonfunctional isoforms. Despite the general acceptance that G protein-coupled receptors can adopt different ligand-induced conformations that give rise to biased signaling, this has not been studied for the HR; further, it is unknown whether splice variants of the same receptor engender the same or differential biased signaling. Herein, we profiled the pharmacology of histamine receptor agonists at the two most abundant hHR splice variants (hHR and hHR) across seven signaling endpoints. Both isoforms engender biased signaling, notably for 4-[3-(benzyloxy)propyl]-1H-imidazole (proxyfan) [e.g., strong bias toward phosphorylation of glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) via the full-length receptor] and its congener 3-(1H-imidazol-4-yl)propyl-(4-iodophenyl)-methyl ether (iodoproxyfan), which are strongly consistent with the former's designation as a "protean" agonist. The 80 amino acid IL3 deleted isoform hHR is more permissive in its signaling than hHR: 2-(1H-imidazol-5-yl)ethyl imidothiocarbamate (imetit), proxyfan, and iodoproxyfan were all markedly biased away from calcium signaling, and principal component analysis of the full data set revealed divergent profiles for all five agonists. However, most interesting was the identification of differential biased signaling between the two isoforms. Strikingly, hHR was completely unable to stimulate GSK3β phosphorylation, an endpoint robustly activated by the full-length receptor. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first quantitative example of differential biased signaling via isoforms of the same G protein-coupled receptor that are simultaneously expressed in vivo and gives rise to the possibility of selective pharmacological targeting of individual receptor splice variants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1124/mol.116.106153DOI Listing
February 2017

Signal transduction pathways activated by insulin-like peptide 5 at the relaxin family peptide RXFP4 receptor.

Br J Pharmacol 2017 05 13;174(10):1077-1089. Epub 2016 Jul 13.

Drug Discovery Biology, Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Monash University, Parkville, VIC, Australia.

Background And Purpose: Insulin-like peptide 5 (INSL5) is a two-chain, three-disulfide-bonded peptide of the insulin/relaxin superfamily, uniquely expressed in enteroendocrine L-cells of the colon. It is the cognate ligand of relaxin family peptide RXFP4 receptor that is mainly expressed in the colorectum and enteric nervous system. This study identifies new signalling pathways activated by INSL5 acting on RXFP4 receptors.

Experimental Approach: INSL5/RXFP4 receptor signalling was investigated using AlphaScreen® proximity assays. Recruitment of Gα proteins by RXFP4 receptors was determined by rescue of Pertussis toxin (PTX)-inhibited cAMP and ERK1/2 responses following transient transfection of PTX-insensitive Gα C351I mutants. Cell proliferation was studied with bromodeoxyuridine. RXFP4 receptor interactions with β-arrestins, GPCR kinase 2 (GRK2), KRas and Rab5a was assessed with real-time BRET. Gene expression was investigated using real-time quantitative PCR. Insulin release was measured using HTRF and intracellular Ca flux monitored in a Flexstation® using Fluo-4-AM.

Key Results: INSL5 inhibited forskolin-stimulated cAMP accumulation and increased phosphorylation of ERK1/2, p38MAPK, Akt Ser , Akt Thr and S6 ribosomal protein. cAMP and ERK1/2 responses were abolished by PTX and rescued by mGα , mGα and mGα and to a lesser extent mGα and mGα . RXFP4 receptors interacted with GRK2 and β-arrestins, moved towards Rab5a and away from KRas, indicating internalisation following receptor activation. INSL5 inhibited glucose-stimulated insulin secretion and Ca mobilisation in MIN6 insulinoma cells and forskolin-stimulated cAMP accumulation in NCI-H716 enteroendocrine cells.

Conclusions And Implications: Knowledge of signalling pathways activated by INSL5 at RXFP4 receptors is essential for understanding the biological roles of this novel gut hormone.

Linked Articles: This article is part of a themed section on Recent Progress in the Understanding of Relaxin Family Peptides and their Receptors. To view the other articles in this section visit http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bph.v174.10/issuetoc.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.13522DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5406383PMC
May 2017

A single-chain derivative of the relaxin hormone is a functionally selective agonist of the G protein-coupled receptor, RXFP1.

Chem Sci 2016 Jun 26;7(6):3805-3819. Epub 2016 Feb 26.

Cardiovascular Disease Program , Biomedicine Discovery Institute and Department of Pharmacology , Monash University , Victoria , Australia . Email:

Human gene-2 relaxin (H2 relaxin) is a pleiotropic hormone with powerful vasodilatory and anti-fibrotic properties which has led to its clinical evaluation and provisional FDA approval as a treatment for acute heart failure. The diverse effects of H2 relaxin are mediated its cognate G protein coupled-receptor (GPCR), Relaxin Family Peptide Receptor (RXFP1), leading to stimulation of a combination of cell signalling pathways that includes cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and extracellular-signal-regulated kinases (ERK)1/2. However, its complex two-chain (A and B), disulfide-rich insulin-like structure is a limitation to its facile preparation, availability and affordability. Furthermore, its strong activation of cAMP signaling is likely responsible for reported detrimental tumor-promoting actions that may preclude long-term use of this drug for treating human disease. Here we report the design and synthesis of a H2 relaxin B-chain-only analogue, B7-33, which was shown to bind to RXFP1 and preferentially activate the pERK pathway over cAMP in cells that endogenously expressed RXFP1. Thus, B7-33 represents the first functionally selective agonist of the complex GPCR, RXFP1. Importantly, this small peptide agonist prevented or reversed organ fibrosis and dysfunction in three pre-clinical rodent models of heart or lung disease with similar potency to H2 relaxin. The molecular mechanism behind the strong anti-fibrotic actions of B7-33 involved its activation of RXFP1-angiotensin II type 2 receptor heterodimers that induced selective downstream signaling of pERK1/2 and the collagen-degrading enzyme, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2. Furthermore, in contrast to H2 relaxin, B7-33 did not promote prostate tumor growth . Our results represent the first known example of the minimisation of a two-chain cyclic insulin-like peptide to a single-chain linear peptide that retains potent beneficial agonistic effects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c5sc04754dDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6013806PMC
June 2016

The actions of relaxin on the human cardiovascular system.

Br J Pharmacol 2017 05 11;174(10):933-949. Epub 2016 Jul 11.

Drug Discovery Biology, Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Parkville, Australia.

The insulin-like peptide relaxin, originally identified as a hormone of pregnancy, is now known to exert a range of pleiotropic effects including vasodilatory, anti-fibrotic, angiogenic, anti-apoptotic and anti-inflammatory effects in both males and females. Relaxin produces these effects by binding to a cognate receptor RXFP1 and activating a variety of signalling pathways including cAMP, cGMP and MAPKs as well as by altering gene expression of TGF-β, MMPs, angiogenic growth factors and endothelin receptors. The peptide has been shown to be effective in halting or reversing many of the adverse effects including fibrosis in animal models of cardiovascular disease including ischaemia/reperfusion injury, myocardial infarction, hypertensive heart disease and cardiomyopathy. Relaxin given to humans is safe and produces favourable haemodynamic changes. Serelaxin, the recombinant form of relaxin, is now in extended phase III clinical trials for the treatment of acute heart failure. Previous clinical studies indicated that a 48 h infusion of relaxin improved 180 day mortality, yet the mechanism underlying this effect is not clear. This article provides an overview of the cellular mechanism of effects of relaxin and summarizes its beneficial actions in animal models and in the clinic. We also hypothesize potential mechanisms for the clinical efficacy of relaxin, identify current knowledge gaps and suggest new ways in which relaxin could be useful therapeutically.

Linked Articles: This article is part of a themed section on Recent Progress in the Understanding of Relaxin Family Peptides and their Receptors. To view the other articles in this section visit http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bph.v174.10/issuetoc.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.13523DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5406304PMC
May 2017

Antifibrotic Actions of Serelaxin - New Roles for an Old Player.

Trends Pharmacol Sci 2016 06 17;37(6):485-497. Epub 2016 Mar 17.

Department of Nephrology, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Parkville, Victoria, Australia; Department of Medicine, Royal Melbourne Hospital, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.

Fibrosis represents a failed wound healing response to tissue injury. It is characterized by the accumulation of excess connective tissue and is a significant cause of organ failure, morbidity, and mortality. Fibrotic disorders accompany a wide spectrum of conditions including both systemic and organ-specific diseases, for which there is currently no effective cure. Serelaxin, the recombinant form of the major stored and circulating form of human relaxin, has emerged as a pleiotropic drug with rapidly occurring antifibrotic actions. This review discusses the effectiveness of serelaxin as an antifibrotic, and how it augments the actions of several other therapeutics leading to its potential use not only as a monotherapy but also as an adjunct therapy with other antifibrotic agents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tips.2016.02.007DOI Listing
June 2016

Engineering of a Novel Simplified Human Insulin-Like Peptide 5 Agonist.

J Med Chem 2016 Mar 12;59(5):2118-25. Epub 2016 Feb 12.

Takeda Cambridge Ltd. , Cambridge CB4 0PZ, United Kingdom.

Insulin-like peptide 5 (INSL5) has recently been discovered as only the second orexigenic gut hormone after ghrelin. As we have previously reported, INSL5 is extremely difficult to assemble and oxidize into its two-chain three-disulfide structure. The focus of this study was to generate structure-activity relationships (SARs) of INSL5 and use it to develop a potent and simpler INSL5 mimetic with RXFP4 agonist activity. A series of human and mouse INSL5 (hINSL5/mINSL5) analogues were designed and chemically synthesized, resulting in a chimeric INSL5 analogue exhibiting more than 10-fold higher potency (0.35 nM) at human RXFP4 compared with native hINSL5 (4.57 nM). The SAR study also identified a key residue (K(A15)) in the A-chain of mINSL5 that contributes to improved RXFP4 affinity and potency of mINSL5 compared with hINSL5. This knowledge ultimately led us to engineer a minimized hINSL5 mimetic agonist that retains native hINSL5-like RXFP4 affinity and potency at human RXFP4. This minimized analogue was synthesized in 17.5-fold higher yield and in less time compared with hINSL5.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jmedchem.5b01786DOI Listing
March 2016

Murine GPRC6A Mediates Cellular Responses to L-Amino Acids, but Not Osteocalcin Variants.

PLoS One 2016 19;11(1):e0146846. Epub 2016 Jan 19.

Drug Discovery Biology, Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Monash University, Parkville, Victoria 3052, Australia.

Phenotyping of Gprc6a KO mice has shown that this promiscuous class C G protein coupled receptor is variously involved in regulation of metabolism, inflammation and endocrine function. Such effects are described as mediated by extracellular calcium, L-amino acids, the bone-derived peptide osteocalcin (OCN) and the male hormone testosterone, introducing the concept of a bone-energy-metabolism-reproduction functional crosstalk mediated by GPRC6A. However, whilst the calcium and L-amino acid-sensing properties of GPRC6A are well established, verification of activity of osteocalcin at both human and mouse GPRC6A in vitro has proven somewhat elusive. This study characterises the in vitro pharmacology of mouse GPRC6A in response to its putative ligands in both recombinant and endogenous GPRC6A-expressing cells. Using cell signalling, and glucagon-like peptide (GLP)-1 and insulin release assays, our results confirm that basic L-amino acids act as agonists of the murine GPRC6A receptor in both recombinant cells and immortalised entero-endocrine and pancreatic β-cells. In contrast, our studies do not support a role for OCN as a direct ligand for mouse GPRC6A, suggesting that the reported in vivo effects of OCN that require GPRC6A may be indirect, rather than via direct activation of the receptor.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0146846PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4718634PMC
July 2016

Orthosteric, Allosteric and Biased Signalling at the Relaxin-3 Receptor RXFP3.

Neurochem Res 2016 Mar 21;41(3):610-9. Epub 2015 Aug 21.

Drug Discovery Biology, Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Monash University, 399 Royal Parade, Parkville, Melbourne, VIC, 3052, Australia.

Relaxin-3 is a neuropeptide that has roles in stress, memory and appetite regulation. The peptide acts on its cognate receptor RXFP3 to induce coupling to inhibitory G proteins to inhibit adenylyl cyclase and activate MAP-kinases such as ERK1/2, p38MAPK and JNK. Other relaxin family peptides can activate the receptor to produce alternative patterns of signalling and there is an allosteric modulator 135PAM1 that displays probe-selectivity. There are now a variety of selective peptide agonists and antagonists that will assist in the determination of the physiological roles of the relaxin-RXFP3 system and its potential as a drug target.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11064-015-1701-3DOI Listing
March 2016

Label-Free Kinetics: Exploiting Functional Hemi-Equilibrium to Derive Rate Constants for Muscarinic Receptor Antagonists.

Mol Pharmacol 2015 Oct 4;88(4):779-90. Epub 2015 Aug 4.

Drug Discovery Biology, Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Monash University, Parkville, Victoria, Australia

Drug receptor kinetics is as a key component in drug discovery, development, and efficacy; however, determining kinetic parameters has historically required direct radiolabeling or competition with a labeled tracer. Here we present a simple approach to determining the kinetics of competitive antagonists of G protein-coupled receptors by exploiting the phenomenon of hemi-equilibrium, the state of partial re-equilibration of agonist, antagonist, and receptor in some functional assays. Using functional [Ca(2+)]i-flux and extracellular kinases 1 and 2 phosphorylation assays that have short incubation times and therefore are prone to hemi-equilibrium "behaviors," we investigated a wide range of structurally and physicochemically distinct muscarinic acetylcholine receptor antagonists. Using a combined operational and hemi-equilibrium model of antagonism to both simulate and analyze data, we derived estimates of association and dissociation rates for the test set of antagonists, identifying both rapidly dissociating (4-DAMP, himbacine) and slowly dissociating (tiotropium, glycopyrrolate) ligands. The results demonstrate the importance of assay incubation time and the degree of receptor reserve in applying the analytical model. There was an excellent correlation between estimates of antagonist pK(B), k(on), and k(off) from functional assays and those determined by competition kinetics using whole-cell [(3)H]N-methylscopolamine binding, validating this approach as a rapid and simple method to functionally profile receptor kinetics of competitive antagonists in the absence of a labeled tracer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1124/mol.115.100545DOI Listing
October 2015

International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology. XCV. Recent advances in the understanding of the pharmacology and biological roles of relaxin family peptide receptors 1-4, the receptors for relaxin family peptides.

Pharmacol Rev 2015 ;67(2):389-440

Drug Discovery Biology, Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Parkville, Victoria, Australia (M.L.H., R.J.S.); Neuropeptides Division, Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health and Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia (R.A.D.B.); Neuroscience Drug Discovery, Janssen Research & Development, LLC, San Diego, California (S.W.S.); Immundiagnostik AG, Bensheim, Germany (T.B.D.); and Charité-University Medicine Berlin, Campus Mitte, Medical Clinic for Cardiology and Angiology, Berlin, Germany (T.B.D.)

Relaxin, insulin-like peptide 3 (INSL3), relaxin-3, and INSL5 are the cognate ligands for the relaxin family peptide (RXFP) receptors 1-4, respectively. RXFP1 activates pleiotropic signaling pathways including the signalosome protein complex that facilitates high-sensitivity signaling; coupling to Gα(s), Gα(i), and Gα(o) proteins; interaction with glucocorticoid receptors; and the formation of hetero-oligomers with distinctive pharmacological properties. In addition to relaxin-related ligands, RXFP1 is activated by Clq-tumor necrosis factor-related protein 8 and by small-molecular-weight agonists, such as ML290 [2-isopropoxy-N-(2-(3-(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)phenylcarbamoyl)phenyl)benzamide], that act allosterically. RXFP2 activates only the Gα(s)- and Gα(o)-coupled pathways. Relaxin-3 is primarily a neuropeptide, and its cognate receptor RXFP3 is a target for the treatment of depression, anxiety, and autism. A variety of peptide agonists, antagonists, biased agonists, and an allosteric modulator target RXFP3. Both RXFP3 and the related RXFP4 couple to Gα(i)/Gα(o) proteins. INSL5 has the properties of an incretin; it is secreted from the gut and is orexigenic. The expression of RXFP4 in gut, adipose tissue, and β-islets together with compromised glucose tolerance in INSL5 or RXFP4 knockout mice suggests a metabolic role. This review focuses on the many advances in our understanding of RXFP receptors in the last 5 years, their signal transduction mechanisms, the development of novel compounds that target RXFP1-4, the challenges facing the field, and current prospects for new therapeutics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1124/pr.114.009472DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4394689PMC
October 2015