Phosphodiesterase 4 catalyzes the hydrolysis of cyclic AMP and is a
target for the development of anti-inflammatory agents. We have designed and
synthesized a series of phenyl alkyl ketones as PDE4 inhibitors. Among them, 13
compounds were identified as having submicromolar IC50 values. The
most potent compounds have IC50 values of in the mid- to
low-nanomolar range. Compound 5v also showed preference for PDE4
with selectivity of >2000-fold over PDE7, PDE9, PDE2, and PDE5. Docking of
5v, 5zf, and 5za into the binding
pocket of the PDE4 catalytic domain revealed a similar binding profile to PDE4
with rolipram except that the fluorine atoms of the difluoromethyl groups of
5v, 5za, and 5zf are within a
reasonable range for hydrogen bond formation with the amide hydrogen of Thr 333
and the long alkyl chain bears additional van der Waals interactions with His
160, Asp 318, and Tyr 159.
Selective inhibitors of cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) have been used as drugs for treatment of male erectile dysfunction and pulmonary hypertension. An insight into the pharmacophores of PDE5 inhibitors is essential for development of second generation of PDE5 inhibitors, but has not been completely illustrated. Here we report the synthesis of a new class of the sildenafil derivatives and a crystal structure of the PDE5 catalytic domain in complex with 5-(2-ethoxy-5-(sulfamoyl)-3-thienyl)-1-methyl-3-propyl-1,6-dihydro-7H-pyrazolo[4,3-d] pyrimidin-7-one (12). Inhibitor 12 induces conformational change of the H-loop (residues 660–683), which is different from any of the known PDE5 structures. The pyrazolopyrimidinone groups of 12 and sildenafil are well superimposed, but their sulfonamide groups show a positional difference of as much as 1.5 Å. The structure-activity analysis suggests that a small hydrophobic pocket and the H-loop of PDE5 are important for the inhibitor affinity, in addition to two common elements for binding of almost all the PDE inhibitors: the stack against the phenylalanine and the hydrogen bond with the invariant glutamine. However, the PDE5-12 structure does not provide a full explanation to affinity changes of the inhibitors. Thus alternatives such as conformational change of the M-loop are open and further structural study is required.
PDE9 inhibitors have been studied as therapeutics for treatment of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and neurodegenerative disorders. To illustrate the inhibitor selectivity, the crystal structures of the PDE9A catalytic domain in complex with the enantiomers of PDE9 inhibitor 1-(2-chlorophenyl)-6-(3,3,3-trifluoro-2-methylpropyl)-1H-pyrazolo[3,4-d]pyrimidine-4(5H)-one ((R)-BAY73-6691 or (S)-BAY73-6691, 1r or 1s) were determined and mutagenesis was performed. The structures showed that the fluoromethyl groups of 1r and 1s had different orientations while the other parts of the inhibitors commonly interacted with PDE9A. These differences may explain the slightly different affinity of 1r (IC50 = 22 nM) and 1s (IC50 = 88 nM). The mutagenesis experiments revealed that contribution of the binding residues to the inhibitor sensitivity varies dramatically, from a few of folds to three orders of magnitude. On the basis of the crystal structures, a hypothesized compound that simulates the recently published PDE9 inhibitors was modeled to provide insight into the inhibitor selectivity.
Phosphodiesterase-9; crystal structure; automatic docking; inhibitor selectivity; mutagenesis
Phosphodiesterases (PDEs) are key enzymes that control the cellular concentrations of the second messengers cAMP and cGMP. The mechanism for selective recognition of substrates cAMP and cGMP by individual PDE families remains a puzzle. To understand the mechanism for substrate recognition by PDE enzymes, the crystal structure of the catalytic domain of an inactive D201N mutant of PDE4D2 in complex with substrate cAMP has been determined at 1.56 Å resolution. The structure shows that Gln369 forms only one hydrogen bond with the adenine of cAMP. This finding provides experimental evidence against the hypothesis of two hydrogen bonds between the invariant glutamine and the substrate cAMP in PDE4, and thus suggests that the widely circulated “glutamine switch” model is unlikely the mechanism for substrate recognition by PDEs. A structure comparison between PDE4D2-cAMP and PDE10A2-cAMP reveals an anti configuration of cAMP in PDE4D2 but syn in PDE10A2, in addition to different contact patterns of cAMP in these two structures. These observations imply that individual PDE families have their characteristic mechanisms for substrate recognition.
PDE4; cAMP/cGMP; substrate specificity
Human leishmaniasis is a major public health problem in many countries, but chemotherapy is in an unsatisfactory state. Leishmania major phosphodiesterases (LmjPDEs) have been shown to play important roles in cell proliferation and apoptosis of the parasite. Thus LmjPDE inhibitors may potentially represent a novel class of drugs for the treatment of leishmaniasis. Reported here are the kinetic characterization of the LmjPDEB1 catalytic domain and its crystal structure as a complex with 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (IBMX) at 1.55 Å resolution. The structure of LmjPDEB1 is similar to that of human PDEs. IBMX stacks against the conserved phenylalanine and forms a hydrogen bond with the invariant glutamine, in a pattern common to most inhibitors bound to human PDEs. However, an extensive structural comparison reveals subtle but significant differences between the active sites of LmjPDEB1 and human PDEs. In addition, a pocket next to the inhibitor binding site is found to be unique to LmjPDEB1. This pocket is isolated by two gating residues in human PDE families, but constitutes a natural expansion of the inhibitor binding pocket in LmjPDEB1. The structure particularity might be useful for the development of parasite-selective inhibitors for the treatment of leishmaniasis.
Leishmaniasis; parasite inhibitor selectivity; cAMP phosphodiesterase
PDE9 inhibitors show potential for treatment of diseases such as diabetes. To help with discovery of PDE9 inhibitors, we performed mutagenesis, kinetic, crystallographic, and molecular dynamics analyses on the active site residues of Gln453 and its stabilizing partner Glu406. The crystal structures of the PDE9 Q453E mutant (PDE9Q453E) in complex with inhibitors IBMX and (S)-BAY73-6691 showed asymmetric binding of the inhibitors in two subunits of the PDE9Q453E dimer and also the significant positional change of the M-loop at the active site. The kinetic analysis of the Q453E and E406A mutants suggested that the invariant glutamine is critical for binding of substrates and inhibitors, but is unlikely to play a key role in the differentiation between substrates of cGMP and cAMP. The molecular dynamics simulations suggest that residue Glu406 may be protonated and may thus explain the hydrogen bond distance between two side chain oxygens of Glu453 and Glu406 in the crystal structure of the PDE9Q453E mutant. The information from these studies may be useful for design of PDE9 inhibitors.
Phosphodiesterases (PDEs) are critical regulators of cyclic nucleotides in the heart. In ventricular myocytes, the L-type Ca2+ current (ICa,L) is a major target of regulation by PDEs, particularly members of the PDE2, PDE3 and PDE4 families. Conversely, much less is known about the roles of PDE2, PDE3 and PDE4 in the regulation of action potential (AP) properties and ICa,L in the sinoatrial node (SAN) and the atrial myocardium, especially in mice. Thus, the purpose of our study was to measure the effects of global PDE inhibition with Isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (IBMX) and selective inhibitors of PDE2, PDE3 and PDE4 on AP properties in isolated mouse SAN and right atrial myocytes. We also measured the effects of these inhibitors on ICa,L in SAN and atrial myocytes in comparison to ventricular myocytes. Our data demonstrate that IBMX markedly increases spontaneous AP frequency in SAN myocytes and AP duration in atrial myocytes. Spontaneous AP firing in SAN myocytes was also increased by the PDE2 inhibitor erythro-9-[2-hydroxy-3-nonyl] adenine (EHNA), the PDE3 inhibitor milrinone (Mil) and the PDE4 inhibitor rolipram (Rol). In contrast, atrial AP duration was increased by EHNA and Rol, but not by Mil. IBMX also potently, and similarly, increased ICa,L in SAN, atrial and ventricular myocytes; however, important differences emerged in terms of which inhibitors could modulate ICa,L in each myocyte type. Consistent with our AP measurements, EHNA, Mil and Rol each increased ICa,L in SAN myocytes. Also, EHNA and Rol, but not Mil, increased atrial ICa,L. In complete contrast, no selective PDE inhibitors increased ICa,L in ventricular myocytes when given alone. Thus, our data show that the effects of selective PDE2, PDE3 and PDE4 inhibitors are distinct in the different regions of the myocardium indicating important differences in how each PDE family constitutively regulates ion channel function in the SAN, atrial and ventricular myocardium.
GAF domains regulate the catalytic activity of certain vertebrate cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases (PDEs) by allosteric, non-catalytic binding of cyclic nucleotides. GAF domains arranged in tandem are found in PDE2, -5, -6, 10, and -11, all of which regulate the cellular concentrations of the second messengers cAMP and/or cGMP. Nucleotide binding to GAF domains affects the overall conformation and the catalytic activity of full-length PDEs. The cyclic nucleotide-bound GAF domains from PDE2, -5, -6, and -10 all adopt a conserved fold but show subtle differences within the binding pocket architecture that account for a large range of nucleotide affinities and selectivity. NMR data and details from the structure of full-length nucleotide-free PDE2A reveal the dynamic nature and magnitude of the conformational change that accompanies nucleotide binding. The discussed GAF domain structures further reveal differences in dimerization properties and highlight the structural diversity within GAF domain-containing PDEs.
Abolishing the inhibitory signal of intracellular cAMP by phosphodiesterases (PDEs) is a prerequisite for effector T (Teff) cell function. While PDE4 plays a prominent role, its control of cAMP levels in Teff cells is not exclusive. T cell activation has been shown to induce PDE8, a PDE isoform with 40- to 100-fold greater affinity for cAMP than PDE4. Thus, we postulated that PDE8 is an important regulator of Teff cell functions.
We found that Teff cells express PDE8 in vivo. Inhibition of PDE8 by the PDE inhibitor dipyridamole (DP) activates cAMP signaling and suppresses two major integrins involved in Teff cell adhesion. Accordingly, DP as well as the novel PDE8-selective inhibitor PF-4957325-00 suppress firm attachment of Teff cells to endothelial cells. Analysis of downstream signaling shows that DP suppresses proliferation and cytokine expression of Teff cells from Crem−/− mice lacking the inducible cAMP early repressor (ICER). Importantly, endothelial cells also express PDE8. DP treatment decreases vascular adhesion molecule and chemokine expression, while upregulating the tight junction molecule claudin-5. In vivo, DP reduces CXCL12 gene expression as determined by in situ probing of the mouse microvasculature by cell-selective laser-capture microdissection.
Collectively, our data identify PDE8 as a novel target for suppression of Teff cell functions, including adhesion to endothelial cells.
The interaction of phosphodiesterase 6 (PDE6) with its inhibitory Pγ-subunits is unparalleled among PDE families and is central for vertebrate phototransduction. The C-terminus of Pγ occludes the active site of PDE6 thereby preventing hydrolysis of cGMP. In this study we examined the determinants of this critical interaction using structure-based loss-of-function mutagenesis of a chimeric PDE5/PDE6 catalytic domain and a gain-of-function mutagenesis of the PDE5 catalytic domain. This analysis revealed the key role of PDE6-specific residues within the catalytic domain M-loop/α-helix15 region and suggested an important contribution of the H-M-loop interface to the PDE6 inhibition by the Pγ C-terminus. Identification of the determinants for the PDE6-Pγ interaction offers insights into the evolution of the visual effector enzyme.
Cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases (PDEs) comprise a superfamily of enzymes that serve as drug targets in many human diseases. There is a continuing need to identify high-specificity inhibitors that affect individual PDE families or even subtypes within a single family. We describe a fission yeast-based high throughput screen to detect inhibitors of heterologously-expressed cAMP PDEs. The utility of this system is demonstrated by the construction and characterization of strains that express mammalian PDE2A, PDE4A, PDE4B, and PDE8A and respond appropriately to known PDE2A and PDE4 inhibitors. High throughput screens of two bioactive compound libraries for PDE inhibitors using strains expressing PDE2A, PDE4A, PDE4B, and the yeast PDE Cgs2 identified known PDE inhibitors and members of compound classes associated with PDE inhibition. We verified that the furanocoumarin imperatorin is a PDE4 inhibitor based on its ability to produce a PDE4-specific elevation of cAMP levels. This platform can be used to identify PDE activators, as well as genes encoding PDE regulators, which could serve as targets for future drug screens.
Schizosaccharomyces pombe; cAMP; phosphodiesterase; high throughput; inhibitors
Phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitors are important therapeutic agents, but their effects on photoreceptor PDE (PDE6) and photoreceptor cells are poorly understood. We characterized the potency and selectivity of various classes of PDE inhibitors on purified rod and cone PDE6 and on intact rod outer segments (ROS).
The inhibition constant (KI) of isozyme-selective PDE inhibitors was determined for purified rod and cone PDE6. Perturbations of cGMP levels in isolated ROS suspensions by PDE inhibitors were quantitated by a cGMP enzyme-linked immunoassay.
Most PDE5-selective inhibitors are excellent PDE6 inhibitors. Vardenafil, a potent PDE5 inhibitor (KI = 0.2 nM), is the most potent PDE6 inhibitor tested (KI = 0.7 nM). Zaprinast is the only drug that inhibits PDE6 more potently than PDE5. PDE1-selective inhibitors were equally effective in inhibiting PDE6. In intact ROS, PDE inhibitors elevated cGMP levels but none fully inhibited PDE6. Their potency to elevate cGMP levels in ROS was much lower than their ability to inhibit the purified enzyme. Competition between PDE5/6-selective drugs and the inhibitory γ subunit for the active site of PDE6 is proposed to reduce the effectiveness of drugs at the enzyme active site.
Several classes of PDE inhibitors equally well inhibit PDE6 as the PDE family to which they are targeted. In intact ROS, high PDE6 concentrations, binding of the γ subunit to the active site, and calcium feedback mechanisms attenuate the effectiveness of PDE inhibitors to inhibit PDE6 and disrupt the cGMP signaling pathway during visual transduction.
Cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase-8 (PDE8) hydrolyzes the second messenger cAMP and is involved in many biological processes such as testosterone production. Although the bacterial and mammalian expression systems have been extensively tried, production of large quantity of soluble and active PDE8 remains to be a major hurdle for pharmacological and structural studies. Reported here is a detailed protocol of refolding and purification of large quantity of the PDE8A1 catalytic domain (residues 480–820) and kinetic characterization of the refolded protein. This protocol yielded about 8 mg of the PDE8A catalytic domain from 2 liter E. coli culture, which has at least 40-fold higher activity than those reported in literature. The PDE8A1 catalytic domain has kcat of 4.0 s−1 for Mn2+ and 2.9 s−1 for Mg2+, and the KM values of 1–1.8 μM. In addition, the PDE8A1 (205–820) fragment that contains both PAS and catalytic domains was expressed in E. coli and refolded. This PDE8A1 (205–820) fragment has kcat of 1.1 s−1 and KM of 0.28 μM, but aggregated at high concentration. The KM of PDE8A1 (205–820) is 2- to 7-fold higher than the KM values of 40–150 nM for the full-length PDE8s in literature, but about 6-fold lower than that of the catalytic domain. Thus, the KM difference likely implies an allosteric regulation of the PDE8A activity by its PAS domain.
PDE7 inhibitors regulate pro-inflammatory and immune T-cell functions, and are a potentially novel class of drugs especially useful in the treatment of a wide variety of immune and inflammatory disorders. Starting from our lead family of thioxoquinazolines, we designed, synthesized, and characterized a novel series of thioxoquinazoline derivatives. Many of these compounds showed inhibitory potencies at sub-micromolar levels against the catalytic domain of PDE7A1 and at the micromolar level against PDE4D2. Cell-based studies showed that these compounds not only increased intracellular cAMP levels, but also had interesting anti-inflammatory properties within a therapeutic window. The in silico data predict that these compounds are capable of the crossing the blood–brain barrier. The X-ray crystal structure of the PDE7A1 catalytic domain in complex with compound 15 at a resolution of 2.4 Å demonstrated that hydrophobic interactions at the active site pocket are a key feature. This structure, together with molecular modeling, provides insight into the selectivity of the PDE inhibitors and a template for the discovery of new PDE7 or PDE7/PDE4 dual inhibitors.
drug design; inflammation; PDE7; thioxoquinazolines
Phosphodiesterases (PDEs) are enzymes that break down the phosphodiesteric bond of the cyclic nucleotides, cAMP and cGMP, second messengers that regulate many biological processes. PDEs participate in the regulation of signal transduction by means of a fine regulation of cyclic nucleotides so that the response to cell stimuli is both specific and activates the correct third messengers. Several PDE inhibitors have been developed and used as therapeutic agents because they increase cyclic nucleotide levels by blocking the PDE function. In particular, sildenafil, an inhibitor of PDE5, has been mainly used in the treatment of erectile dysfunction but is now also utilized against pulmonary hypertension. This review examines the physiological role of PDE5 in synaptic plasticity and memory and the use of PDE5 inhibitors as possible therapeutic agents against disorders of the central nervous system (CNS).
phosphodiesterase 5; NO/cGMP pathway; sildenafil; synaptic plasticity; memory; Alzheimer’s disease
As shown by transgenic mouse models and by using phosphodiesterase 3 (PDE3) inhibitors, PDE3B has an important role in the regulation of insulin secretion in pancreatic β-cells. However, very little is known about the regulation of the enzyme. Here, we show that PDE3B is activated in response to high glucose, insulin and cAMP elevation in rat pancreatic islets and INS-1 (832/13) cells. Activation by glucose was not affected by the presence of diazoxide. PDE3B activation was coupled to an increase as well as a decrease in total phosphorylation of the enzyme. In addition to PDE3B, several other PDEs were detected in human pancreatic islets: PDE1, PDE3, PDE4C, PDE7A, PDE8A and PDE10A. We conclude that PDE3B is activated in response to agents relevant for β-cell function and that activation is linked to increased as well as decreased phosphorylation of the enzyme. Moreover, we conclude that several PDEs are present in human pancreatic islets.
Vardenafil has higher affinity to phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) than sildenafil and lower administered dosage for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. However, the molecular basis for these differences is puzzling because two drugs have similar chemical structures. Reported here is a crystal structure of the fully active and nonmutated PDE5A1 catalytic domain in complex with vardenafil. The structure shows that the conformation of the H-loop in the PDE5A1-vardenafil complex is different from those of any known structures of the unliganded PDE5 and its complexes with the inhibitors. In addition, the molecular configuration of vardenafil differs from that of sildenafil when bound to PDE5. It is noteworthy that the binding of vardenafil causes loss of the divalent metal ions that have been observed in all the previously published PDE structures. The conformational variation of both PDE5 and the inhibitors provides structural insight into the different potencies of the drugs.
Phosphodiesterase-2 (PDE2) is a key enzyme catalyzing hydrolysis of both cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) that serve as intracellular second messengers. PDE2 has been recognized as an attractive drug target, and selective inhibitors of PDE2 are expected to be promising candidates for the memory enhancer, anti-depressant, and anxiolytic agent. In the present study, we examined the detailed binding structures and free energies for PDE2 interacting with a promising series of inhibitors, i.e. benzo[1,4]diazepin-2-one derivatives, by carrying out molecular docking, molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, binding free energy calculations, and binding energy decompositions. The computational results provide valuable insights into the detailed enzyme-inhibitor binding modes including important intermolecular interactions, e.g. the π-π stacking interactions with the common benzo[1,4]diazepin-2-one scaffold of the inhibitors, hydrogen bonding and hydrophobic interactions with the substituents on the benzo[1,4]diazepin-2-one scaffold. Future rational design of new, more potent inhibitors of PDE2 should carefully account for all of these favorable intermolecular interactions. By use of the MD-simulated binding structures, the calculated binding free energies are in good agreement with the experimental activity data for all of the examined benzo[1,4]diazepin-2-one derivatives. The enzyme-inhibitor binding modes determined and the agreement between the calculated and experimental results are expected to be valuable for future rational design of more potent inhibitors of PDE2.
BAY 41-2272 (BAY), a stimulator of soluble guanylyl cyclase, increases cyclic nucleotides and inhibits proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). In this study, we elucidated mechanisms of action of BAY in its regulation of vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein (VASP) with an emphasis on VSMC phosphodiesterases (PDEs). BAY alone increased phosphorylation of VASPSer239 and VASPSer157, respective indicators of PKG and PKA signaling. IBMX, a non-selective inhibitor of PDEs, had no effect on BAY-induced phosphorylation at VASPSer239 but inhibited phosphorylation at VASPSer157. Selective inhibitors of PDE3 or PDE4 attenuated BAY-mediated increases at VASPSer239 and VASPSer157, whereas PDE5 inhibition potentiated BAY-mediated increases only at VASPSer157. In comparison, 8Br-cGMP increased phosphorylation at VASPSer239 and VASPSer157 which were not affected by selective PDE inhibitors. In the presence of 8Br-cAMP, inhibition of either PDE4 or PDE5 decreased VASPSer239 phosphorylation and inhibition of PDE3 increased phosphorylation at VASPSer239, while inhibition of PDE3 or PDE4 increased and PDE5 inhibition had no effect on VASPSer157 phosphorylation. These findings demonstrate that BAY operates via cAMP and cGMP along with regulation by PDEs to phosphorylate VASP in VSMCs and that the mechanism of action of BAY in VSMCs is different from that of direct cyclic nucleotide analogs with respect to VASP phosphorylation and the involvement of PDEs. Given a role for VASP as a critical cytoskeletal protein, these findings provide evidence for BAY as a regulator of VSMC growth and a potential therapeutic agent against vasculoproliferative disorders.
BAY 41-2272; cGMP; cAMP; phosphodiesterase; soluble guanylyl cyclase; VASP
Cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase-8 (PDE8) is a family of cAMP-specific enzymes and plays important roles in many biological processes, including T-cell activation, testosterone production, adrenocortical hyperplasia, and thyroid function. However, no PDE8 selective inhibitors are available for trial treatment of human diseases. Here we report kinetic properties of the highly active PDE8A1 catalytic domain prepared from refolding and its crystal structures in the unliganded and 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (IBMX) bound forms at 1.9 and 2.1 Å resolutions, respectively. The PDE8A1 catalytic domain has KM of 1.8 μM, Vmax of 6.1 μmol/min/mg, kcat of 4.0 s−1 for cAMP, and KM of 1.6 mM, Vmax of 2.5 μmol/min/mg, kcat of 1.6 s−1 for cGMP, thus indicating that the substrate specificity of PDE8 is dominated by KM. The structure of the PDE8A1 catalytic domain has similar topology as those of other PDE families, but contains two extra helices around Asn685-Thr710. Since this fragment is distant from the active site of the enzyme, its impact on the catalysis is unclear. The PDE8A1 catalytic domain is insensitive to the IBMX inhibition (IC50 = 700 μM). The unfavorable interaction of IBMX in the PDE8A1-IBMX structure suggests an important role of Tyr748 in the inhibitor binding. Indeed, the mutation of Tyr748 to phenylalanine increases the PDE8A1 sensitivity to several non-selective or family-selective PDE inhibitors. Thus, the structural and mutagenesis studies provide not only insight into the enzymatic properties, but also guidelines for design of PDE8 selective inhibitors.
The second messengers, cAMP and cGMP, regulate a number of physiological processes in the myocardium, from acute contraction/relaxation to chronic gene expression and cardiac structural remodeling. Emerging evidence suggests that multiple spatiotemporally distinct pools of cyclic nucleotides can discriminate specific cellular functions from a given cyclic nucleotide-mediated signal. Cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases (PDEs), by hydrolyzing intracellular cyclic AMP and/or cyclic GMP, control the amplitude, duration, and compartmentation of cyclic nucleotide signaling. To date, more than 60 different isoforms have been described and grouped into 11 broad families (PDE1–PDE11) based on differences in their structure, kinetic and regulatory properties, as well as sensitivity to chemical inhibitors. In the heart, PDE isozymes from at least six families have been investigated. Studies using selective PDE inhibitors and/or genetically manipulated animals have demonstrated that individual PDE isozymes play distinct roles in the heart by regulating unique cyclic nucleotide signaling microdomains. Alterations of PDE activity and/or expression have also been observed in various cardiac disease models, which may contribute to disease progression. Several family-selective PDE inhibitors have been used clinically or pre-clinically for the treatment of cardiac or vascular-related diseases. In this review, we will highlight both recent advances and discrepancies relevant to cardiovascular PDE expression, pathophysiological function, and regulation. In particular, we will emphasize how these properties influence current and future development of PDE inhibitors for the treatment of pathological cardiac remodeling and dysfunction.
Cyclic Nucleotide; Phosphodiesterase; Heart
Studies of the phosphodiesterase PDE7 family are impeded by there being only one commercially-available PDE7 inhibitor, BRL50481. We have employed a high throughput screen of commercial chemical libraries, using a fission yeast-based assay, to identify PDE7 inhibitors that include steroids, podocarpanes, and an unusual heterocyclic compound, BC30. In vitro enzyme assays measuring the potency of BC30 and two podocarpanes, in comparison with BRL50481, produce data consistent with those from yeast-based assays. In other enzyme assays, BC30 stimulates the PDE4D catalytic domain, but not full-length PDE4D2, suggesting an allosteric site of action. BC30 significantly enhances the anti-inflammatory effect of the PDE4 inhibitor rolipram as measured by release of TNFα from activated monocytes. These studies introduce several new PDE7 inhibitors that may be excellent candidates for medicinal chemistry due to the requirements for drug-like characteristics placed on them by the nature of the yeast-based screen.
Schizosaccharomyces pombe; cAMP; phosphodiesterase; high throughput; inhibitors; PDE7
Cyclic AMP plays an important role in regulating sperm motility and acrosome reaction through activation of cAMP-dependent protein kinase A (PKA). Phosphodiesterases (PDEs) modulate the levels of cyclic nucleotides by catalyzing their degradation. Although PDE inhibitors specific to PDE1 and PDE4 are known to alter sperm motility and capacitation in humans, little is known about the role or subcellular distribution of PDEs in spermatozoa. The localization of PKA is regulated by A-kinase anchoring proteins (AKAPs), which may also control the intracellular distribution of PDE. The present study was undertaken to investigate the role and localization of PDE4 during sperm capacitation. Addition of Rolipram or RS25344, PDE4-specific inhibitors significantly increased the progressive motility of bovine spermatozoa. Immunolocalization techniques detected both PDE4A and AKAP3 (formerly known as AKAP110) in the principal piece of bovine spermatozoa. The PDE4A5 isoform was detected primarily in the Triton X-100-soluble fraction of caudal epididymal spermatozoa. However, in ejaculated spermatozoa it was seen primarily in the SDS-soluble fraction, indicating a shift in PDE4A5 localization into insoluble organelles during sperm capacitation. AKAP3 was detected only in the SDS-soluble fraction of both caudal and ejaculated sperm. Immunoprecipitation experiments using COS cells cotransfected with AKAP3 and either Pde4a5 or Pde4d provide evidence that PDE4A5 but not PDE4D interacts with AKAP3. Pulldown assays using sperm cell lysates confirm this interaction in vitro. These data suggest that AKAP3 binds both PKA and PDE4A and functions as a scaffolding protein in spermatozoa to regulate local cAMP concentrations and modulate sperm functions.
phosphodiesterases; signal transduction; sperm; sperm motility; transport
Primary traumatic mechanical injury to the spinal cord (SCI) causes the death of a number of neurons that to date can neither be recovered nor regenerated. During the last years our group has been involved in the design, synthesis and evaluation of PDE7 inhibitors as new innovative drugs for several neurological disorders. Our working hypothesis is based on two different facts. Firstly, neuroinflammation is modulated by cAMP levels, thus the key role for phosphodiesterases (PDEs), which hydrolyze cAMP, is undoubtedly demonstrated. On the other hand, PDE7 is expressed simultaneously on leukocytes and on the brain, highlighting the potential crucial role of PDE7 as drug target for neuroinflammation.
Here we present two chemically diverse families of PDE7 inhibitors, designed using computational techniques such as virtual screening and neuronal networks. We report their biological profile and their efficacy in an experimental SCI model induced by the application of vascular clips (force of 24 g) to the dura via a four-level T5–T8 laminectomy. We have selected two candidates, namely S14 and VP1.15, as PDE7 inhibitors. These compounds increase cAMP production both in macrophage and neuronal cell lines. Regarding drug-like properties, compounds were able to cross the blood brain barrier using parallel artificial membranes (PAMPA) methodology. SCI in mice resulted in severe trauma characterized by edema, neutrophil infiltration, and production of a range of inflammatory mediators, tissue damage, and apoptosis. Treatment of the mice with S14 and VP1.15, two PDE7 inhibitors, significantly reduced the degree of spinal cord inflammation, tissue injury (histological score), and TNF-α, IL-6, COX-2 and iNOS expression.
All these data together led us to propose PDE7 inhibitors, and specifically S14 and VP1.15, as potential drug candidates to be further studied for the treatment of SCI.
Membrane–bound phosphodiesterase 6 (PDE6) plays an important role in visual signal transduction by regulating cGMP levels in rod photoreceptor cells. Our understanding of PDE6 catalysis and structure suffers from inadequate characterization of the α and β subunit catalytic core, interactions of the core with two intrinsically–disordered, proteolysis–prone inhibitory PDEγ (Pγ) subunits, and binding of two isoprenyl–binding proteins δ, called PrBP/δ, to the isoprenylated C–termini of the catalytic core. Structural studies of native PDE6 have been also been hampered by lack of a heterologous expression system for the holo–enzyme. In this work, we purified PDE6 in the presence of PrBP/δ and screened for additives and detergents that selectively suppress PDE6 basal activity while sparing that of the trypsin–activated enzyme. Some detergents removed PrBP/δ from the PDE complex, separating it from the holo–enzyme after PDE6 purification. Additionally, selected detergents also significantly reduced dissociation of PDE6 subunits, increasing its homogeneity, and stabilizing the holo–enzyme by substituting for its native membrane environment.