Vector-borne diseases such as dengue fever and malaria, which are transmitted by infected female mosquitoes, affect nearly half of the world's population. The emergence of insecticide-resistant mosquito populations is reducing the effectiveness of conventional insecticides and threatening current vector control strategies, which has created an urgent need to identify new molecular targets against which novel classes of insecticides can be developed. We previously demonstrated that small molecule inhibitors of mammalian Kir channels represent promising chemicals for new mosquitocide development. In this study, high-throughput screening of approximately 30,000 chemically diverse small-molecules was employed to discover potent and selective inhibitors of Aedes aegypti Kir1 (AeKir1) channels heterologously expressed in HEK293 cells. Of 283 confirmed screening ‘hits’, the small-molecule inhibitor VU625 was selected for lead optimization and in vivo studies based on its potency and selectivity toward AeKir1, and tractability for medicinal chemistry. In patch clamp electrophysiology experiments of HEK293 cells, VU625 inhibits AeKir1 with an IC50 value of 96.8 nM, making VU625 the most potent inhibitor of AeKir1 described to date. Furthermore, electrophysiology experiments in Xenopus oocytes revealed that VU625 is a weak inhibitor of AeKir2B. Surprisingly, injection of VU625 failed to elicit significant effects on mosquito behavior, urine excretion, or survival. However, when co-injected with probenecid, VU625 inhibited the excretory capacity of mosquitoes and was toxic, suggesting that the compound is a substrate of organic anion and/or ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters. The dose-toxicity relationship of VU625 (when co-injected with probenecid) is biphasic, which is consistent with the molecule inhibiting both AeKir1 and AeKir2B with different potencies. This study demonstrates proof-of-concept that potent and highly selective inhibitors of mosquito Kir channels can be developed using conventional drug discovery approaches. Furthermore, it reinforces the notion that the physical and chemical properties that determine a compound's bioavailability in vivo will be critical in determining the efficacy of Kir channel inhibitors as insecticides.
Allosteric modulation has emerged as an innovative pharmacological approach to selectively activate or inhibit a number of Class C GPCRs. Of the Class C GPCRs, metabotropic glutamate (mGlu) receptors represent the most promising candidates for clinical success, and both positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) and negative allosteric modulators (NAMs) of mGluRs have demonstrated therapeutic potential for a range of psychiatric and neurological disorders such as pain, depression, anxiety, cognition, Fragile X syndrome, Parkinson’s disease and schizophrenia.
G-protein coupled receptor; positive allosteric modulator (PAM); negative allosteric modulator (NAM); metabotropic glutamate receptor
This Letter describes a novel series of GIRK activators identified through an HTS campaign. The HTS lead was a potent and efficacious dual GIRK1/2 and GIRK1/4 activator. Further chemical optimization through both iterative parallel synthesis and fragment library efforts identified dual GIRK1/2 and GIRK1/4 activators as well as the first examples of selective GIRK1/4 activators. Importantly, these compounds were inactive on GIRK2 and other non-GIRK1 containing GIRK channels, and SAR proved shallow.
GIRK; Kir3.x; Activators; Thallium flux
A structure-activity relationship of the 3- and 6-positions of the pyrazolo[1,5-a]pyrimidine scaffold of the known BMP inhibitors dorsomorphin, 1, LDN193189, 2, and DMH1, 3, led to the identification of a potent and selective compound for ALK2 versus ALK3. The potency contributions of several 3-position substituents were evaluated with subtle structural changes leading to significant changes in potency. From these studies, a novel 5-quinoline molecule was identified and designated an MLPCN probe molecule, ML347, which shows >300-fold selectivity for ALK2 and presents the community with a selective molecular probe for further biological evaluation.
ALK2 kinase; Bone morphogenetic receptor; Pyrazolo[1,5-a]pyrimidine; Selectivity; ML347
A high-throughput screen utilizing a depolarization-triggered thallium influx through KCNQ1 channels was developed and used to screen the MLSMR collection of over 300,000 compounds. An iterative medicinal chemistry approach was initiated and from this effort, ML277 was identified as a potent activator of KCNQ1 channels (EC50 = 260 nM). ML277 was shown to be highly selective against other KCNQ channels (>100-fold selectivity versus KCNQ2 and KCNQ4) as well as against the distantly related hERG potassium channel.
KCNQ1 activator; MLPCN probe; Potassium channels; Voltage-gated ion channels; ML277
There is an increasing amount of literature data showing the positive effects on preclinical anti-Parkinsonian rodent models with selective positive allosteric modulators of metabotropic glutamate receptor 4 (mGlu4).1 However, most of the data generated utilize compounds that have not been optimized for drug-like properties and, as a consequence, they exhibit poor pharmacokinetic properties and thus do not cross the blood-brain barrier. Herein, we report on a series of N-4-(2,5-dioxopyrrolidin-1-yl)-phenylpicolinamides with improved PK properties with excellent potency and selectivity as well as improved brain exposure in rodents. Finally, ML182 was shown to be orally active in the haloperidol induced catalepsy model, a well-established anti-Parkinsonian model.
metabotropic glutamate receptors; mGlu4; positive allosteric modulators; Parkinson’s disease; haloperidol-induced catalepsy; structure-activity relationship (SAR); oral efficacy; brain penetration
The Kir inward rectifying potassium channels have a broad tissue distribution and are implicated in a variety of functional roles. At least seven classes (Kir1 – Kir7) of structurally related inward rectifier potassium channels are known, and there are no selective small molecule tools to study their function. In an effort to develop selective Kir2.1 inhibitors, we performed a high-throughput screen (HTS) of more than 300,000 small molecules within the MLPCN for modulators of Kir2.1 function. Here we report one potent Kir2.1 inhibitor, ML133, which inhibits Kir2.1 with IC50 of 1.8 μM at pH 7.4 and 290 nM at pH 8.5, but exhibits little selectivity against other members of Kir2.x family channels. However, ML133 has no effect on Kir1.1 (IC50 > 300 μM), and displays weak activity for Kir4.1 (76 μM) and Kir7.1 (33 μM), making ML133 the most selective small molecule inhibitor of the Kir family reported to date. Due to the high homology within the Kir family, the channels share a common design of a pore region flanked by two transmembrane domains, identification of site(s) critical for isoform specificity would be an important basis for future development of more specific and potent Kir inhibitors. Using chimeric channels between Kir2.1 and Kir1.1 and site-directed mutagenesis, we have identified D172 and I176 within M2 segment of Kir2.1 as molecular determinants critical for the potency of ML133 mediated inhibition. Double mutation of the corresponding residues of Kir1.1 to those of Kir2.1 (N171D and C175I) transplants ML133 inhibition to Kir1.1. Together, the combination of a potent, Kir2 family selective inhibitor and identification of molecular determinants for the specificity provides both a tool and a model system to enable further mechanistic studies of modulation of Kir2 inward rectifier potassium channels.
Kir2.1; inward rectifying potassium channel; ion channel; mutagenesis; structure-activity-relationship; medicinal chemistry; ion works; patch clamp; high throughput screening; MLPCN
This Review describes recent activity in the advancement of ligands for the metabotropic glutamate 4 receptor subtype and their potential utility as central nervous system (CNS) therapeutics. Until recently, there was a paucity of compounds with suitable selectivity and druglike properties to elucidate the value of this target. The search for selective entities has led several groups to the investigation of allosteric modulators as a path to optimization of potential ligands. Recent efforts, discussed here, have afforded a variety of derivatives with improvements in potency, solubility, and pharmacokinetic properties that garner support for continued investigation and optimization.
Metabotropic glutamate receptor 4; orthosteric ligand; allosteric modulator; Parkinson’s disease; anxiety; pain; cognitive disorders; psychiatric disorders; neurodegenerative disorders; Class C GPCR
This Letter describes a chemical lead optimization campaign directed at a weak mGlu5 NAM discovered while developing SAR for the mGlu5 PAM, ADX-47273. An iterative parallel synthesis effort discovered multiple, subtle molecular switches that afford potent mGlu5 NAMs, mGlu5 PAMs as well as mGlu5 partial antagonists.
Herein we report the discovery, synthesis and evaluation of a series of N-(4-acetamido)-phenylpicolinamides as positive allosteric modulators of mGlu4.a Compounds from the series show submicromolar potency at both human and rat mGlu4. In addition, pharmacokinetic studies utilizing subcutaneous dosing demonstrated good brain exposure in rats.
Herein we disclose the synthesis and SAR of a series of 4-(phenylsulfamoyl)phenylacetamide compounds as mGlu4 positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) that were identified via a functional HTS. An iterative parallel approach to these compounds culminated in the discovery of VU0364439 (11) which represents the most potent (19.8 nM) mGlu4 PAM reported to date.
We report the synthesis and evaluation of a series of heterobiaryl amides as positive allosteric modulators of mGluR4. Compounds 9b and 9c showed submicromolar potency at both human and rat mGluR4. In addition, both 9b and 9c were shown to be centrally penetrant in rats using nontoxic vehicles, a major advance for the mGluR4 field.
An iterative analogue library synthesis strategy rapidly developed comprehensive SAR for the mGluR5 ago-potentiator ADX-47273. This effort identified key substitutents in the 3-position of oxadiazole that engendered either mGluR5 ago-potentiation or pure mGluR5 positive allosteric modulation. The mGluR5 positive allosteric modulators identified possessed the largest fold shifts (up to 27.9-fold) of the glutamate CRC reported to date as well as providing improved physiochemical properties.
mGluR5; ago-potentiator; positive allosteric modulator (PAM); negative allosteric modulator (NAM); schizophrenia; glutamate