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J Biol Chem. 1998 Apr 24;273(17):10095-8.

Identification of a potent, selective non-peptide CXCR2 antagonist that inhibits interleukin-8-induced neutrophil migration.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Immunology, SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania 19406, USA.


Interleukin-8 (IL-8) and closely related Glu-Leu-Arg (ELR) containing CXC chemokines, including growth-related oncogene (GRO)alpha, GRObeta, GROgamma, and epithelial cell-derived neutrophil-activating peptide-78 (ENA-78), are potent neutrophil chemotactic and activating peptides, which are proposed to be major mediators of inflammation. IL-8 activates neutrophils by binding to two distinct seven-transmembrane (7-TMR) G-protein coupled receptors CXCR1 (IL-8RA) and CXCR2 (IL-8RB), while GROalpha, GRObeta, GROgamma, and ENA-78 bind to and activate only CXCR2. A chemical lead, which selectively inhibited CXCR2 was discovered by high throughput screening and chemically optimized. SB 225002 (N-(2-hydroxy-4-nitrophenyl)-N'-(2-bromophenyl)urea) is the first reported potent and selective non-peptide inhibitor of a chemokine receptor. It is an antagonist of 125I-IL-8 binding to CXCR2 with an IC50 = 22 nM. SB 225002 showed >150-fold selectivity over CXCR1 and four other 7-TMRs tested. In vitro, SB 225002 potently inhibited human and rabbit neutrophil chemotaxis induced by both IL-8 and GROalpha. In vivo, SB 225002 selectively blocked IL-8-induced neutrophil margination in rabbits. The present findings suggest that CXCR2 is responsible for neutrophil chemotaxis and margination induced by IL-8. This selective antagonist will be a useful tool compound to define the role of CXCR2 in inflammatory diseases where neutrophils play a major role.

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