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J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2010 Dec;335(3):572-9. doi: 10.1124/jpet.110.173005. Epub 2010 Aug 26.

Selectively engaging β-arrestins at the angiotensin II type 1 receptor reduces blood pressure and increases cardiac performance.

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Trevena Inc, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania 19406, USA.


Biased G protein-coupled receptor ligands engage subsets of the receptor signals normally stimulated by unbiased agonists. However, it is unclear whether ligand bias can elicit differentiated pharmacology in vivo. Here, we describe the discovery of a potent, selective β-arrestin biased ligand of the angiotensin II type 1 receptor. TRV120027 (Sar-Arg-Val-Tyr-Ile-His-Pro-D-Ala-OH) competitively antagonizes angiotensin II-stimulated G protein signaling, but stimulates β-arrestin recruitment and activates several kinase pathways, including p42/44 mitogen-activated protein kinase, Src, and endothelial nitric-oxide synthase phosphorylation via β-arrestin coupling. Consistent with β-arrestin efficacy, and unlike unbiased antagonists, TRV120027 increased cardiomyocyte contractility in vitro. In rats, TRV120027 reduced mean arterial pressure, as did the unbiased antagonists losartan and telmisartan. However, unlike the unbiased antagonists, which decreased cardiac performance, TRV120027 increased cardiac performance and preserved cardiac stroke volume. These striking differences in vivo between unbiased and β-arrestin biased ligands validate the use of biased ligands to selectively target specific receptor functions in drug discovery.

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