Modelling altered signalling of G-protein coupled receptors in inflamed environment to advance drug design

Please always quote using this URN: urn:nbn:de:0297-zib-82797
  • Initiated by mathematical modelling of extracellular interactions between G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) and ligands in normal versus diseased (inflamed) environments, we previously reported the successful design, synthesis and testing of the prototype opioid painkiller NFEPP that does not elicit adverse side effects. Uniquely, this design recognised that GPCRs function differently under pathological versus healthy conditions. We now present a novel stochastic model of GPCR function that includes intracellular dissociation of G-protein subunits and modulation of plasma membrane calcium channels associated with parameters of inflamed tissue (pH, radicals). By means of molecular dynamics simulations, we also assessed qualitative changes of the reaction rates due to additional disulfide bridges inside the GPCR binding pocket and used these rates for stochastic simulations of the corresponding reaction jump process. The modelling results were validated with in vitro experiments measuring calcium currents and G-protein activation. We found markedly reduced G-protein dissociation and calcium channel inhibition induced by NFEPP at normal pH, and enhanced constitutive G-protein activation but lower probability of ligand binding with increasing radical concentrations. These results suggest that, compared to radicals, low pH is a more important determinant of overall GPCR function in an inflamed environment. Future drug design efforts should take this into account.

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Author:Sourav Ray, Arne Thies, Vikram Sunkara, Özgür Celik, Fatih Yergöz, Christof Schütte, Christoph Stein, Marcus Weber, Stefanie WinkelmannORCiD
Document Type:ZIB-Report
Date of first Publication:2021/07/07
Series (Serial Number):ZIB-Report (21-19)
ISSN:1438-0064