Postdoctoral Research Fellow NIH/NINDS Bethesda, Maryland, United States
Kathryn Luderman (NIH/NINDS)| R Benjamin Free (NIH/NINDS)| Forest Koenigsberg (University of North Carolina )| Jeffrey Aubé (University of North Carolina )| Kevin Frankowski (University of North Carolina )| Kim Neve (Oregon Health & Science University)| David Sibley (NIH/NINDS)
The D1 dopamine receptor (D1R) is a crucial regulator of dopaminergic signaling and is involved in neurological processes and diseases. It is an attractive target for treating neuropsychiatric disorders, however, the liabilities of orthosteric agonists have curtailed this treatment modality. Positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) of D1R are therefore an alternative drug development strategy. We discovered two structurally distinct D1R PAMs via a high-throughput screen: MLS1082 and MLS6585. Both PAMs potentiate agonist-stimulated G protein- and β-arrestin-mediated signaling and increase dopamine’s affinity for the D1R, though with different maximum efficacy and estimated Kb values. Combination experiments and receptor mutagenesis studies indicated that MLS1082 acts via the previously described intracellular loop-2 (ICL2) allosteric site targeted by two known D1R PAMs, Compound B and DETQ. MLS6585, however, does not act via this ICL2 site. To identify the MLS6585 binding site, chimeras of the D1R and D2R were used. MLS6585 has no PAM activity at the D2R, so loss of potentiation from the introduction of D2R sequences was used to detect potential regions of interest. This chimeric approach identified transmembrane region 7 (TM7) of D1R as a potential site for mediating MLS6585 activity. Further, specific point mutations identified residues near the extracellular region of TM7 that are required for MLS6585 PAM activity. These mutations had no effect on the activities of other PAMs binding to the ICL2 site. We used analog sets of MLS6585 to begin to understand the structure–activity relationships underlying D1R allosteric modulation. In addition to validating the MLS6585 scaffold as a D1R PAM, the analogs implicate structural moieties that are crucial for PAM activity and receptor selectivity. A small number of seemingly inactive analogs appear to act as silent allosteric modulators (SAMs) or neutral allosteric ligands (NALs), in that they blocked the activity of the parent PAM compound, presumably by competing for the same binding site. Together, these efforts increase our understanding of D1R allosteric modulation as a means for developing novel therapeutic interventions.