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J Med Chem. 2007 Sep 6;50(18):4482-92. Epub 2007 Aug 3.

Synthesis of specific bivalent probes that functionally interact with 5-HT(4) receptor dimers.

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Université Paris-Sud, Faculté de Pharmacie, IFR141, UMR-S769, Châtenay-Malabry, F-92296, Inserm, U567, France.


G-protein-coupled receptor dimerization directs the design of new drugs that specifically bind to receptor dimers. Here, we generated a targeted series of homobivalent ligands for serotonin 5-HT(4) receptor (5-HT(4)R) dimers composed of two 5-HT(4)R-specific ML10302 units linked by a spacer. The design of spacers was assisted by molecular modeling using our previously described 5-HT(4)R dimer model. Their syntheses were based on Sonogashira-Linstrumelle coupling methods. All compounds retained high-affinity binding to 5-HT(4)R but lost the agonistic character of the monomeric ML10302 compound. Direct evidence for the functional interaction of both pharmacophores of bivalent ligands with the 5-HT(4)R was obtained using a bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET) based assay that monitors conformational changes within 5-HT(4) dimers. Whereas the monovalent ML10302 was inactive in this assay, several bivalent derivatives dose-dependently increased the BRET signal, indicating that both pharmacophores functionally interact with the 5-HT(4) dimer. These bivalent ligands may serve as a new basis for the synthesis of potential drugs for 5-HT(4)-associated disorders.

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