Eur J Med Chem 2013 Nov 13;69:384-92. Epub 2013 Sep 13.
Dipartimento di Farmacia, "Federico II" University of Naples, Italy.
G protein-coupled receptor kinase 2 (GRK2) is a relevant signaling node of the cellular transduction network, playing major roles in the physiology of various organs/tissues including the heart and blood vessels. Emerging evidence suggests that GRK2 is up regulated in pathological situations such as heart failure, hypertrophy and hypertension, and its inhibition offers a potential therapeutic solution to these diseases. We explored the GRK2 inhibitory activity of a library of cyclic peptides derived from the HJ loop of G protein-coupled receptor kinases 2 (GRK2). The design of these cyclic compounds was based on the conformation of the HJ loop within the X-ray structure of GRK2. One of these compounds, the cyclic peptide 7, inhibited potently and selectively the GRK2 activity, being more active than its linear precursor. In a cellular system, this peptide confirms the beneficial signaling properties of a potent GRK2 inhibitor. Preferred conformations of the most potent analog were investigated by NMR spectroscopy.