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Mol Pharmacol. 2008 Dec;74(6):1485-95. doi: 10.1124/mol.108.049775. Epub 2008 Sep 2.

Comparison of the potential multiple binding modes of bicyclam, monocylam, and noncyclam small-molecule CXC chemokine receptor 4 inhibitors.

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  • 1Genzyme Corporation, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.


CXC chemokine receptor (CXCR)4 is an HIV coreceptor and a chemokine receptor that plays an important role in several physiological and pathological processes, including hematopoiesis, leukocyte homing and trafficking, metastasis, and angiogenesis. This receptor belongs to the class A family of G protein-coupled receptors and is a validated target for the development of a new class of antiretroviral therapeutics. This study compares the interactions of three structurally diverse small-molecule CXCR4 inhibitors with the receptor and is the first report of the molecular interactions of the nonmacrocyclic CXCR4 inhibitor (S)-N'-(1H-benzimidazol-2-ylmethyl)-N'-(5,6,7,8-tetrahydroquinolin-8-yl)butene-1,4-diamine (AMD11070). Fourteen CXCR4 single-site mutants representing amino acid residues that span the entire putative ligand binding pocket were used in this study. These mutants were used in binding studies to examine how each single-site mutation affected the ability of the inhibitors to compete with (125)I-stromal-derived factor-1alpha binding. Our data suggest that these CXCR4 inhibitors bind to overlapping but not identical amino acid residues in the transmembrane regions of the receptor. In addition, our results identified amino acid residues that are involved in unique interactions with two of the CXCR4 inhibitors studied. These data suggest an extended binding pocket in the transmembrane regions close to the second extracellular loop of the receptor. Based on site-directed mutagenesis and molecular modeling, several potential binding modes were proposed for each inhibitor. These mechanistic studies might prove to be useful for the development of future generations of CXCR4 inhibitors with improved clinical pharmacology and safety profiles.

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