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Br J Pharmacol. 2015 Apr;172(7):1822-33. doi: 10.1111/bph.13027. Epub 2015 Feb 10.

CXCR3 antagonist VUF10085 binds to an intrahelical site distinct from that of the broad spectrum antagonist TAK-779.

Author information

1
Leukocyte Biology Section, NHLI Division, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College, London, UK.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:

The chemokine receptor CXCR3 is implicated in a variety of clinically important diseases, notably rheumatoid arthritis and atherosclerosis. Consequently, antagonists of CXCR3 are of therapeutic interest. In this study, we set out to characterize binding sites of the specific low MW CXCR3 antagonist VUF10085 and the broad spectrum antagonist TAK-779 which blocks CXCR3 along with CCR2 and CCR5.

EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH:

Molecular modelling of CXCR3, followed by virtual ligand docking, highlighted several CXCR3 residues likely to contact either antagonist, notably a conserved aspartate in helix 2 (Asp-112(2:63) ), which was postulated to interact with the quaternary nitrogen of TAK-779. Validation of modelling was carried out by site-directed mutagenesis of CXCR3, followed by assays of cell surface expression, ligand binding and receptor activation.

KEY RESULTS:

Mutation of Asn-132(3.33) , Phe-207 and Tyr-271(6.51) within CXCR3 severely impaired both ligand binding and chemotactic responses, suggesting that these residues are critical for maintenance of a functional CXCR3 conformation. Contrary to our hypothesis, mutation of Asp-112(2:63) had no observable effects on TAK-779 activity, but clearly decreased the antagonist potency of VUF 10085. Likewise, mutations of Phe-131(3.32) , Ile-279(6.59) and Tyr-308(7.43) were well tolerated and were critical for the antagonist activity of VUF 10085 but not for that of TAK-779.

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS:

This more detailed definition of a binding pocket within CXCR3 for low MW antagonists should facilitate the rational design of newer CXCR3 antagonists, with obvious clinical potential.

PMID:
25425280
PMCID:
PMC4376459
DOI:
10.1111/bph.13027
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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