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1.  Quantitative comparison of functional screening by measuring intracellular Ca2+ with radioligand binding at recombinant human dopamine receptors 
AAPS PharmSci  2002;4(4):102-111.
The purpose of this study was to test whether screening at dopamine receptors performed with a recently described functional assay for G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) provides data that correlate significantly with radioligand binding data in the literature, thus possibly allowing researchers to replace radioligand binding with nonradioactive functional screening. Human dopamine receptors hD1 and hD2L (representing Gs [hD1] or G [hD2L] coupled GPCRs) were recombinantly expressed in human embryonic kidney (HEK293) cells. Cells were loaded with Oregon Green 488 BAPTA-1/AM and evenly distributed in 384 well plates. Seventeen test compounds were screened for agonistic activity by injection into the cell suspension and monitoringH of intracellular Ca2+ with a fluorescence microplate reader. Then, standard agonists (100nM SKF38393 for hD1, 30nM quinpirole for hD2L) were injected into wells preincubated with test compounds (screening for antagonism). Injection of various agonists resulted in a concentration-dependent increase in fluorescence. Further, preincubation of antagonists with dopamine receptor expressing cells inhibits concentration-dependent the agonist-induced increase in fluorescence. Calculated apparent functional Ki values correlate with radioligand binding data in the literature (r2=0.7796 for D1, r2=0.7743 for D2). The correlation between apparent functional K values and radioligand binding data for the 17 tested compounds suggests that screening of test compounds at dopamine receptors with the functional Ca2+ assay can replace radioligand binding studies. Furthermore, besides apparent K values, information about agonistic or antagonistic properties of a test compound can be obtained with the functional Ca2+ assay.
doi:10.1208/ps040431
PMCID: PMC2751320  PMID: 12646003
dopamine receptor; functional screening; Ca2+ assay; microplate reader; radioligand binding
2.  Molecular modeling of G-protein coupled receptor kinase 2: Docking and biochemical evaluation of inhibitors 
AAPS PharmSci  2000;2(1):9-21.
G-protein coupled receptor kinase 2 (GRK2) regulates the activity of many receptors. Because potent inhibitors of GRK2 are thus far limited to polyanionic compounds like heparin, we searched for new inhibitors with the aid of a molecular model of GRK2. We used the available crystal structure of cAMP dependent protein kinase (cAPK) as a template to construct a 3D homology model of GRK2. Known cAPK and GRK2 inhibitors were docked into the active sites of GRK2 and cAPK using DOCK v3.5. H8 docked into the hydrophobic pocket of the adenosine 5-triphosphate (ATP) binding site of cAPK, consistent with its known competitive cAPK inhibition relative to ATP. Similarly, 3 of 4 known GRK2 inhibitors docked into the ATP binding pocket of GRK2 with good scores. Screening the Fine Chemicals Directory (FCD, containing the 3D structures of 13,000 compounds) for docking into the active sites of GRK2 identified H8 and the known GRK2 inhibitor trifluoperazine as candidates. Whereas H8 indeed inhibited light-dependent phosphorylation of rhodopsin by GRK2, but with low potency, 3 additional FCD compounds with promising GRK2 scores failed to inhibit GRK2. This result demonstrates limitations of the GRK2 model in predicting activity among diverse chemical structures. Docking suramin, an inhibitor of protein kinase C (not present in FCD) yielded a good fit into the ATP binding site of GRK2 over cAPK. Suramin did inhibit GRK2 with IC50 32 μM (pA2 6.39 for competitive inhibition of ATP). Suramin congeners with fewer sulfonic acid residues (NF062, NF503 [IC50 14 μM]) or representing half of the suramin molecule (NF520) also inhibited GRK2 as predicted by docking. In conclusion, suramin and analogues are lead compounds in the development of more potent and selective inhibitors of GRK2.
doi:10.1208/ps020102
PMCID: PMC2750997  PMID: 11741218

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