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1.  An insight into the pharmacophores of phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors from synthetic and crystal structural studies 
Biochemical pharmacology  2008;75(9):1717-1728.
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.
PMCID: PMC2409583  PMID: 18346713
2.  Design, Synthesis, and Structure–Activity Relationship, Molecular Modeling, and NMR Studies of a Series of Phenyl Alkyl Ketones as Highly Potent and Selective Phosphodiesterase-4 Inhibitors 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2008;51(24):7673-7688.
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.
PMCID: PMC2950628  PMID: 19049349
3.  Kinetic and structural studies of phosphodiesterase-8A and implication on the inhibitor selectivity 
Biochemistry  2008;47(48):12760-12768.
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.
PMCID: PMC2646200  PMID: 18983167
4.  Computational Determination of Binding Structures and Free Energies of Phosphodiesterase-2 with Benzo[1,4]diazepin-2-one Derivatives 
The journal of physical chemistry. B  2010;114(48):16020-16028.
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.
PMCID: PMC3072033  PMID: 21077589
5.  Structural Asymmetry of Phosphodiesterase-9, Potential Protonation of a Glutamic Acid, and Role of the Invariant Glutamine 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(3):e18092.
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.
PMCID: PMC3069055  PMID: 21483814
6.  The molecular basis for recognition of different substrates by phosphodiesterase families 4 and 10 
Journal of molecular biology  2007;371(2):302-307.
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.
PMCID: PMC2001251  PMID: 17582435
PDE4; cAMP/cGMP; substrate specificity
7.  Insight into binding of phosphodiesterase-9A selective inhibitors by crystal structures and mutagenesis 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2010;53(4):1726-1731.
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.
PMCID: PMC2831206  PMID: 20121115
Phosphodiesterase-9; crystal structure; automatic docking; inhibitor selectivity; mutagenesis
8.  Synthesis, Structural Analysis, and Biological Evaluation of Thioxoquinazoline Derivatives as Phosphodiesterase 7 Inhibitors 
ChemMedChem  2009;4(5):866-876.
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.
PMCID: PMC2952885  PMID: 19350606
drug design; inflammation; PDE7; thioxoquinazolines
9.  A Yeast-Based Chemical Screen Identifies a PDE Inhibitor That Elevates Steroidogenesis in Mouse Leydig Cells via PDE8 and PDE4 Inhibition 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):e71279.
A cell-based high-throughput screen (HTS) was developed to detect phosphodiesterase 8 (PDE8) and PDE4/8 combination inhibitors. By replacing the Schizosaccharomyces pombe PDE gene with the murine PDE8A1 gene in strains lacking adenylyl cyclase, we generated strains whose protein kinase A (PKA)-stimulated growth in 5-fluoro orotic acid (5FOA) medium reflects PDE8 activity. From our previously-identified PDE4 and PDE7 inhibitors, we identified a PDE4/8 inhibitor that allowed us to optimize screening conditions. Of 222,711 compounds screened, ∼0.2% displayed composite Z scores of >20. Additional yeast-based assays using the most effective 367 compounds identified 30 candidates for further characterization. Among these, compound BC8-15 displayed the lowest IC50 value for both PDE4 and PDE8 inhibition in in vitro enzyme assays. This compound also displays significant activity against PDE10A and PDE11A. BC8-15 elevates steroidogenesis in mouse Leydig cells as a single pharmacological agent. Assays using BC8-15 and two structural derivatives support a model in which PDE8 is a primary regulator of testosterone production by Leydig cells, with an additional role for PDE4 in this process. BC8-15, BC8-15A, and BC8-15C, which are commercially available compounds, display distinct patterns of activity against PDE4, PDE8, PDE10A, and PDE11A, representing a chemical toolkit that could be used to examine the biological roles of these enzymes in cell culture systems.
PMCID: PMC3743849  PMID: 23967182
10.  Crystal structure of the Leishmania major phosphodiesterase LmjPDEB1 and insight into the design of the parasite selective inhibitors 
Molecular microbiology  2007;66(4):1029-1038.
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.
PMCID: PMC2950065  PMID: 17944832
Leishmaniasis; parasite inhibitor selectivity; cAMP phosphodiesterase
11.  β-Adrenergic cAMP Signals Are Predominantly Regulated by Phosphodiesterase Type 4 in Cultured Adult Rat Aortic Smooth Muscle Cells 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e47826.
We investigated the role of cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases (PDEs) in the spatiotemporal control of intracellular cAMP concentrations in rat aortic smooth muscle cells (RASMCs).
Methodology/Principal Findings
The rank order of PDE families contributing to global cAMP-PDE activity was PDE4> PDE3  =  PDE1. PDE7 mRNA expression but not activity was confirmed. The Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET)-based cAMP sensor, Epac1-camps, was used to monitor the time course of cytosolic cAMP changes. A pulse application of the β-adrenoceptor (β-AR) agonist isoproterenol (Iso) induced a transient FRET signal. Both β1- and β2-AR antagonists decreased the signal amplitude without affecting its kinetics. The non-selective PDE inhibitor (IBMX) dramatically increased the amplitude and delayed the recovery phase of Iso response, in agreement with a role of PDEs in degrading cAMP produced by Iso. Whereas PDE1, PDE3 and PDE7 blockades [with MIMX, cilostamide (Cil) and BRL 50481 (BRL), respectively] had no or minor effect on Iso response, PDE4 inhibition [with Ro-20-1724 (Ro)] strongly increased its amplitude and delayed its recovery. When Ro was applied concomitantly with MIMX or Cil (but not with BRL), the Iso response was drastically further prolonged. PDE4 inhibition similarly prolonged both β1- and β2-AR-mediated responses. When a membrane-targeted FRET sensor was used, PDE3 and PDE4 acted in a synergistic manner to hydrolyze the submembrane cAMP produced either at baseline or after β-AR stimulation.
Our study underlines the importance of cAMP-PDEs in the dynamic control of intracellular cAMP signals in RASMCs, and demonstrates the prominent role of PDE4 in limiting β-AR responses. PDE4 inhibition unmasks an effect of PDE1 and PDE3 on cytosolic cAMP hydrolyzis, and acts synergistically with PDE3 inhibition at the submembrane compartment. This suggests that mixed PDE4/PDE1 or PDE4/PDE3 inhibitors would be attractive to potentiate cAMP-related functions in vascular cells.
PMCID: PMC3475707  PMID: 23094097
12.  Phosphodiesterases Regulate BAY 41-2272-Induced VASP Phosphorylation in Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells 
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.
PMCID: PMC3273712  PMID: 22347188
BAY 41-2272; cGMP; cAMP; phosphodiesterase; soluble guanylyl cyclase; VASP
13.  Cyclic nucleotide specific phosphodiesterases of Leishmania major 
BMC Microbiology  2006;6:25.
Leishmania represent a complex of important human pathogens that belong to the systematic order of the kinetoplastida. They are transmitted between their human and mammalian hosts by different bloodsucking sandfly vectors. In their hosts, the Leishmania undergo several differentiation steps, and their coordination and optimization crucially depend on numerous interactions between the parasites and the physiological environment presented by the fly and human hosts. Little is still known about the signalling networks involved in these functions. In an attempt to better understand the role of cyclic nucleotide signalling in Leishmania differentiation and host-parasite interaction, we here present an initial study on the cyclic nucleotide-specific phosphodiesterases of Leishmania major.
This paper presents the identification of three class I cyclic-nucleotide-specific phosphodiesterases (PDEs) from L. major, PDEs whose catalytic domains exhibit considerable sequence conservation with, among other, all eleven human PDE families. In contrast to other protozoa such as Dictyostelium, or fungi such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Candida ssp or Neurospora, no genes for class II PDEs were found in the Leishmania genomes. LmjPDEA contains a class I catalytic domain at the C-terminus of the polypeptide, with no other discernible functional domains elsewhere. LmjPDEB1 and LmjPDEB2 are coded for by closely related, tandemly linked genes on chromosome 15. Both PDEs contain two GAF domains in their N-terminal region, and their almost identical catalytic domains are located at the C-terminus of the polypeptide. LmjPDEA, LmjPDEB1 and LmjPDEB2 were further characterized by functional complementation in a PDE-deficient S. cerevisiae strain. All three enzymes conferred complementation, demonstrating that all three can hydrolyze cAMP. Recombinant LmjPDEB1 and LmjPDEB2 were shown to be cAMP-specific, with Km values in the low micromolar range. Several PDE inhibitors were found to be active against these PDEs in vitro, and to inhibit cell proliferation.
The genome of L. major contains only PDE genes that are predicted to code for class I PDEs, and none for class II PDEs. This is more similar to what is found in higher eukaryotes than it is to the situation in Dictyostelium or the fungi that concomitantly express class I and class II PDEs. Functional complementation demonstrated that LmjPDEA, LmjPDEB1 and LmjPDEB2 are capable of hydrolyzing cAMP. In vitro studies with recombinant LmjPDEB1 and LmjPDEB2 confirmed this, and they demonstrated that both are completely cAMP-specific. Both enzymes are inhibited by several commercially available PDE inhibitors. The observation that these inhibitors also interfere with cell growth in culture indicates that inhibition of the PDEs is fatal for the cell, suggesting an important role of cAMP signalling for the maintenance of cellular integrity and proliferation.
PMCID: PMC1431542  PMID: 16522215
14.  Distinct Patterns of Constitutive Phosphodiesterase Activity in Mouse Sinoatrial Node and Atrial Myocardium 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e47652.
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.
PMCID: PMC3471891  PMID: 23077656
15.  Identification of PDE9 as a cGMP-specific phosphodiesterase in germinal vesicle oocytes: A proposed role in the resumption of meiosis 
Fertility and sterility  2012;98(2):487-495.e1.
To identify a cGMP-specific phosphodiesterase (PDE) in non-human primate germinal vesicle (GV) oocytes and establish a proposed effect on oocyte maturation through preliminary experiments in mouse GV oocytes.
Controlled non-human primate and rodent experiments.
Academic research institution.
Rhesus macaques and B6/129F1 mice.
Rhesus macaques were stimulated with FSH to collect GV oocytes and cumulus for gene expression analysis. Female mice were stimulated with PMSG to collect GV oocytes.
Main Outcome Measures
PDE transcript expression in primate GV oocytes and cumulus cells. Fluorescence polarization (FP) measurements of PDE3A activity. Spontaneous resumption of meiosis in mouse GV oocytes.
Five PDE transcripts were detected in Rhesus GV oocytes, only PDE9A was cGMP-specific. FP assays indicated cGMP has an inhibitory effect on PDE3A while the PDE9 inhibitor, BAY73-6691, did not. Similarly, BAY73-6691, had little effect on preventing spontaneous maturation in oocytes, but did augment the inhibitory effects of cGMP. Inclusion of 0µM (control), 10µM, 100µM, and 1 mM BAY73-6691 significantly increased the proportion of mouse oocytes maintaining GV arrest in the presence of the cGMP analog 8-Br-cGMP at: 100µM (8.8%, 11.4%, 18.8%, and 28%), 500µM (21.1%, 38.1%, 74.5%,and 66.5%), and 1 mM (57.8%, 74.5%, 93.9%, and 94.0%) respectively, when P<0.05.
PDE9 is a cGMP-specific hydrolyzing enzyme present in primate oocytes, and PDE9 antagonists augment the inhibitory effect of cGMP during spontaneous in vitro maturation of GV mouse oocytes.
PMCID: PMC3409309  PMID: 22704629
oocyte; meiosis; phosphodiesterase 9A; cGMP; phosphodiesterase 3A
16.  Characterization of Novel Phosphodiesterases in the Bovine Ovarian Follicle1 
Biology of Reproduction  2009;81(2):415-425.
The phosphodiesterase (PDE) family is a group of enzymes that catalyzes the transformation of cyclic nucleotides into 5′ nucleotides. Based on rodents, the current mammalian model of PDE distribution in the ovarian follicle predicts Pde3a in the oocyte and Pde4d in the somatic cells. Using bovine as an experimental model, the present results showed that PDE3 was the predominant PDE activity in oocytes. However, cumulus cell cAMP-PDE activity was predominantly resistant to inhibition by 3-isobutyl-methylxantine, indicating PDE8 activity (60% of total PDE activity) and a minor role for PDE4 (<5%). A total of 20% of total oocyte PDE activity was also attributed to PDE8. The PDE activity measurements in mural granulosa cells from 2 to 6 mm in diameter suggest the presence of PDE4 and PDE8. In granulosa cells from follicles >10 mm, total PDE and PDE8 activities along with PDE8A protein level were increased compared with smaller follicles. The RT-PCR experiments showed that cumulus cells expressed PDE8A, PDE8B, and PDE10A. Western blot experiments showed PDE8A, PDE8B, and PDE4D proteins in mural granulosa cells and cumulus-oocyte complexes. PDE8 inhibition using dipyridamole in a dose-dependent manner increased cAMP levels in the cumulus-oocyte complexes and delayed oocyte nuclear maturation. These results are the first to demonstrate the functional presence of PDE8 in the mammalian ovarian follicle. This challenges the recently described cell-specific expression of cAMP-PDEs in the ovarian follicle and the notion that PDE4 is the predominant granulosa/cumulus cell PDE. These findings have implications for our understanding of hormonal regulation of folliculogenesis and the potential application of PDE inhibitors as novel contraceptives.
PDE8A and PDE8B are the predominant cAMP-phosphodiesterase in bovine cumulus cells and play an important role in cAMP modulation.
PMCID: PMC2849824  PMID: 19357367
cumulus cells; cyclic adenosine monophosphate; follicle; gamete biology; oocyte; phosphodiesterases; signal transduction
Phosphodiesterases (PDEs) limit vasodilation in response to a variety of signaling cascades by metabolizing the cyclic nucleotides cAMP and cGMP. The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that NO regulates expression of PDE3A, a cGMP-inhibited PDE. Incubation of rat pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (rPaSMCs) with the NO-donor compound S-nitroso-glutathione (GSNO) increased PDE3A gene expression in a dose- and time-dependent manner. NO-donors increased PDE3A protein levels. Total and milrinone inhibitable cAMP PDE activity were increased 2.8±0.1- and 2.0±0.1-fold respectively in extracts of rPaSMCs exposed to GSNO. The effects of GSNO on PDE3A gene expression were mimicked by the soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) activators YC-1 and BAY 41-2272 and blocked by the sGC inhibitor ODQ. Incubation of rPaSMC with interleukin-1β and tumor necrosis factor-α induced PDE3A gene expression, an effect which was inhibited by L-NIL, an antagonist of NO synthase 2, or ODQ. Actinomycin D, an inhibitor of RNA polymerase, blocked the GSNO-induced increase of PDE3A mRNA levels, whereas cycloheximide, an inhibitor of protein translation, did not. These observations suggest that NO modulates PDE3A gene expression via mechanisms dependent upon cGMP synthesis and gene transcription. Prolonged exposure to NO may alter the sensitivity of vascular smooth muscle to cGMP- or cAMP-dependent vasodilators, as well as PDE isoform-selective inhibitors.
PMCID: PMC3757338  PMID: 21224496
nitric oxide; cyclic guanosine monophosphate; GSNO; phosphodiesterase 3A; soluble guanylate cyclase; vasodilation
18.  Selective blockade of phosphodiesterase types 2, 5 and 9 results in cyclic 3′5′ guanosine monophosphate accumulation in retinal pigment epithelium cells 
To investigate which phosphodiesterase (PDE) is involved in regulating cyclic 3′5′ guanosine monophosphate breakdown in retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells.
cGMP content in the cultured RPE cells (D407 cell line) was evaluated by immunocytochemistry in the presence of non‐selective or isoform‐selective PDE inhibitors in combination with the particulate guanylyl cyclase stimulator atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) or the soluble guanylyl cyclase stimulator sodium nitroprusside (SNP). mRNA expression of PDE2, PDE5 and PDE9 was studied in cultured human RPE cells and rat RPE cell layers using non‐radioactive in situ hybridisation.
In the absence of PDE inhibitors, cGMP levels in cultured RPE cells are very low. cGMP accumulation was readily detected in cultured human RPE cells after incubation with Bay60–7550 as a selective PDE2 inhibitor, sildenafil as a selective PDE5 inhibitor or Sch51866 as a selective PDE9 inhibitor. In the presence of PDE inhibition, cGMP content increased markedly after stimulation of the particulate guanylyl cyclase. mRNA of PDE2,PDE5 and PDE9 was detected in all cultured human RPE cells and also in rat RPE cell layers.
PDE2, PDE5 and PDE9 have a role in cGMP metabolism in RPE cells.
PMCID: PMC1857670  PMID: 16943225
19.  Phosphodiesterase 4 regulates the migration of B16-F10 melanoma cells 
Phosphodiesterases (PDEs) are important regulators of signal transduction processes. Eleven PDE gene families (PDE1-11) have been identified and several PDE isoforms are selectively expressed in various cell types. PDE4 family members specifically hydrolyze cyclic AMP (cAMP). Four genes (PDE4A-D) are known to encode PDE4 enzymes, with additional diversity generated by the use of alternative mRNA splicing and the use of different promoters. While PDE4 selective inhibitors show therapeutic potential for treating major diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, little is known concerning the role of PDE4 in malignant melanoma. In this study, we examined the role of PDE4 in mouse B16-F10 melanoma cells. In these cells, PDE4 activity was found to be ∼60% of total PDE activity. RT-PCR detected only PDE4B and PDE4D mRNA. Cell growth was inhibited by the cAMP analog, 8-bromo-cAMP, but not by the specific PDE4 inhibitors, rolipram and denbufylline, which increased intracellular cAMP concentrations. Finally, migration of the B16-F10 cells was inhibited by the PDE4 inhibitors and 8-bromo-cAMP, while migration was increased by a protein kinase A (PKA) inhibitor, PKI14–22, and was not affected by 8-pCPT-2′-O-Me-cAMP, which is an analog of exchange protein activated by cAMP (Epac). The inhibitory effect of rolipram on migration was reversed by PKI14–22. Based on these results, PDE4 appears to play an important role in the migration of B16-F10 cells, and therefore may be a novel target for the treatment of malignant melanoma.
PMCID: PMC3439151  PMID: 22970026
migration; B16-F10 melanoma cells; cyclic AMP; phospho diesterase 4
20.  Efficacy and selectivity of phosphodiesterase-targeted drugs to inhibit photoreceptor phosphodiesterase (PDE6) in retinal photoreceptors* 
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.
PMCID: PMC1343468  PMID: 16123402
21.  Effect of the ILE86TER mutation in the γ subunit of cGMP phosphodiesterase (PDE6) on rod photoreceptor signalling 
Cellular signalling  2011;24(1):181-188.
The light-dependent decrease in cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) in the rod outer segment is produced by a phosphodiesterase (PDE6), consisting of catalytic α and β subunits and two inhibitory γ subunits. The molecular mechanism of PDE6γ regulation of the catalytic subunits is uncertain. To study this mechanism in vivo, we introduced a modified Pde6g gene for PDE6γ into a line of Pde6gtm1/Pde6gtm1 mice that does not express PDE6γ. The resulting ILE86TER mice have a PDE6γ that lacks the two final carboxyl-terminal Ile86 and Ile87 residues, a mutation previously shown in vitro to reduce inhibition by PDE6γ. ILE86TER rods showed a decreased sensitivity and rate of activation, probably the result of a decreased level of expression of PDE6 in ILE86TER rods. More importantly, they showed a decreased rate of decay of the photoresponse, consistent with decreased inhibition of PDE6 α and β by PDE6γ. Furthermore, ILE86TER rods had a higher rate of spontaneous activation of PDE6 than WT rods. Circulating current in ILE86TER rods that also lacked both guanylyl cyclase activating proteins (GCAPs) could be increased several fold by perfusion with 100 µM of the PDE6 inhibitor 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (IBMX), consistent with a higher rate of dark PDE6 activity in the mutant photoreceptors. In contrast, IBMX had little effect on the circulating current of WT rods, unlike previous results from amphibians. Our results show for the first time that the Ile86 and Ile87 residues are necessary for normal inhibition of PDE6 catalytic activity in vivo, and that increased basal activity of PDE can be partially compensated by GCAP-dependent regulation of guanylyl cyclase.
PMCID: PMC3205198  PMID: 21920434
rod; photoreceptor; phosphodiesterase; transduction; G-protein; retina; vision
22.  AKAP3 Selectively Binds PDE4A Isoforms in Bovine Spermatozoa1 
Biology of reproduction  2005;74(1):109-118.
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.
PMCID: PMC1352331  PMID: 16177223
phosphodiesterases; signal transduction; sperm; sperm motility; transport
23.  Exploration and Optimization of Substituted Triazolothiadiazines and Triazolopyridazines as PDE4 Inhibitors 
An expansion of structure-activity studies on a series of substituted 7H-[1,2,4]triazolo[3,4-b][1,3,4]thiadiazine PDE4 inhibitors and the introduction of a related [1,2,4]triazolo[4,3-b]pyridazine based inhibitor of PDE4 is presented. The development of SAR included strategic incorporation of known substituents on the critical catachol diether moiety of the 6-phenyl appendage on each heterocyclic core. From these studies, (R)-3-(2,5-dimethoxyphenyl)-6-(4-methoxy-3-(tetrahydrofuran-3-yloxy)phenyl)-7H-[1,2,4]triazolo[3,4-b][1,3,4]thiadiazine (10) and (R)-3-(2,5-dimethoxyphenyl)-6-(4-methoxy-3-(tetrahydrofuran-3-yloxy)phenyl)-[1,2,4]triazolo[4,3-b]pyridazine (18) were identified as highly potent PDE4A inhibitors. Each of these analogues was submitted across a panel of 21 PDE family members and was shown to be highly selective for PDE4 isoforms (PDE4A, PDE4B, PDE4C, PDE4D). Both 10 and 18 were then evaluated in divergent cell-based assays to assess their relevant use as probes of PDE4 activity. Finally, docking studies with selective ligands (including 10 and 18) were undertaken to better understand this chemotypes ability to bind and inhibit PDE4 selectively.
PMCID: PMC2870997  PMID: 19464886
24.  Targeting Cyclic Nucleotide Phosphodiesterase in the Heart: Therapeutic Implications 
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.
PMCID: PMC2966469  PMID: 20632220
Cyclic Nucleotide; Phosphodiesterase; Heart
25.  Endothelium-Independent and Endothelium-Dependent Vasorelaxation by a Dichloromethane Fraction from Anogeissus Leiocarpus (DC) Guill. Et Perr. (Combretaceae): Possible Involvement of Cyclic Nucleotide Phosphodiesterase Inhibition 
Many traditional medicinal herbs from Burkina Faso are used to treat arterial hypertension (HTA). Among them, Anogeissus leiocarpus (A. Leiocarpus) which is well known and widely used in Burkina traditional medicine. Herein we assess the effects of dichloromethane fraction from A. leiocarpus stem bark (ALF), selected as the most active on cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases (PDEs) and characterized its specificity towards purified vascular PDE1 to PDE5 isoenzymes and study its effects on a vascular model. ALF potently and preferentially inhibits (IC50=1.6 ± 0.6 µg/mL) the calmodulin-dependent phosphodiesterase PDE1, being mainly present in vascular smooth muscle and preferentially hydrolyses cGMP. In the same range (IC50 =2.8 ±0.2 µg/ml) ALF inhibits PDE2, a cGMP-activated enzyme that is only present in endothelial cells and hydrolyses both cAMP and cGMP. PDE5, which specifically hydrolyses cGMP and which mainly contributes to cGMP hydrolysis is also potently inhibited by ALF (IC50=7.6±3.5 µg/ml). The potencies of ALF on cAMP hydrolyzing isoenzymes was lesser, being more effective on PDE4 (IC50= 17.6±3.5 µg/ml) than on PDE3 (60.9 ± 1.8 µg/ml). Since the major effect of ALF were against cGMP hydrolysis and since cGMP is implicated in endothelium-dependent relaxation, the endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation was studied on isolated porcine coronary arteries rings pre-contracted with U46619. The endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation is significantly inhibited by Nω-nitro-L-arginine (LNA 300 µmol/L, an inhibitor of endothelial NO synthase), but not affected by charybdotoxin (CTX, 100nM) plus apamin (APA, 100nM) (two inhibitors of EDHF-mediated responses). The combination of 4-aminopyridine (4-AP, 1 mmol/L, inhibitor of voltage-dependent potassium channels, Kv) plus baryum (Ba2+, 30 µmol/L, inhibitor of the potassium channels with entering correction, Kir) plus ouabain (3 µmol/L, inhibitor of ATPase Na+/K+ channels) partially inhibits endothelium-independent vasorelaxant effect. This endothelium-independent relaxant effect was also sensitive to combination of 1H-[1,2,4]-oxadiazole-[4,3-α]-quinoxalin1-one (ODQ, 10 µM, soluble guanylyl cyclase inhibitor) and N-[2-(p-Bromocinnamylamino)ethyl]-5-isoquinoline sulfonamide dihydrochloride (H89, 100 nM, Protein Kinase A inhibitor). Taken together, these results indicate that ALF is a powerful vasodilator modulated by the formation of NO from endothelium, but also act by directly relaxing the vascular smooth muscle cells, by inhibiting cGMP hydrolyzing PDEs (PDE1, PDE2 and PDE5) and to a lesser extend on cAMP degradation (PDE3 and PDE4), cAMP and cGMP being second messengers involved in vascular relaxation.
PMCID: PMC3746565  PMID: 24146440
Anogeissus leiocarpus; coronary artery; Vasorelaxation; Endothelium; Phosphodiesterase inhibition

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