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1.  Orthogonal activation of the reengineered A3 adenosine receptor (neoceptor) using tailored nucleoside agonists 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2006;49(9):2689-2702.
An alternative approach to overcome the inherent lack of specificity of conventional agonist therapy can be the reengineering of the GPCRs and their agonists. A reengineered receptor (neoceptor) could be selectively activated by a modified agonist, but not by the endogenous agonist. Assisted by rhodopsin-based molecular modeling, we pinpointed mutations of the A3 adenosine receptor (AR) for selective affinity enhancement following complementary modifications of adenosine. Ribose modifications examined included, at 3′: amino, aminomethyl, azido, guanidino, ureido; and at 5′: uronamido, azidodeoxy. N6-variations included: 3-iodobenzyl, 5-chloro-2-methyloxybenzyl, and methyl. An N6-3-iodobenzyl-3′-ureido adenosine derivative 10 activated phospholipase C in COS-7 cells (EC50=0.18 μM) or phospholipase D in chick primary cardiomyocytes mediated by a mutant (H272E), but not the wild-type, A3AR. The affinity enhancements for 10 and the corresponding 3′-acetamidomethyl analogue 6 were >100-fold and >20-fold, respectively. 10 concentration-dependently protected cardiomyocytes transfected with the neoceptor against hypoxia. Unlike 10, adenosine activated the wild-type A3AR (EC50 of 1.0 μM), but had no effect on the H272E mutant A3AR (100 μM). Compound 10 was inactive at human A1, A2A, and A2BARs. The orthogonal pair comprising an engineered receptor and a modified agonist should be useful for elucidating signaling pathways and could be therapeutically applied to diseases following organ-targeted delivery of the neoceptor gene.
PMCID: PMC3471142  PMID: 16640329
2.  Probing the Binding Site of the A1 Adenosine Receptor Reengineered for Orthogonal Recognition by Tailored Nucleosides 
Biochemistry  2007;46(25):7437-7448.
His272 (7.43) in the seventh transmembrane domain (TM7) of the human A3 adenosine receptor (AR) interacts with the 3′ position of nucleosides, based on selective affinity enhancement at a H272E mutant A3 AR (neoceptor) of 3′-ureido, but not 3′-OH, adenosine analogues. Here, mutation of the analogous H278 of the human A1 AR to Ala, Asp, Glu, or Leu enhanced the affinity of novel 2′- and 3′-ureido adenosine analogues, such as 10 (N6-cyclopentyl-3′-ureido-3′-deoxyadenosine), by >100-fold, while decreasing the affinity or potency of adenosine and other 3′-OH adenosine analogues. His278 mutant receptors produced a similar enhancement regardless of the charge character of the substituted residue, implicating steric rather than electrostatic factors in the gain of function, a hypothesis supported by rhodopsin-based molecular modeling. It was also demonstrated that this interaction was orientationally specific; i.e., mutations at the neighboring Thr277 did not enhance the affinity for a series of 2′- and 3′-ureido nucleosides. Additionally, H-bonding groups placed on substituents at the N6 or 5′ position demonstrated no enhancement in the mutant receptors. These reengineered human A1 ARs revealed orthogonality similar to that of the A3 but not the A2A AR, in which mutation of the corresponding residue, His278, to Asp did not enhance nucleoside affinity. Functionally, the H278D A1 AR was detectable only in a measure of membrane potential and not in calcium mobilization. This neoceptor approach should be useful for the validation of molecular modeling and the dissection of promiscuous GPCR signaling.
PMCID: PMC3140710  PMID: 17542617

Results 1-2 (2)