A novel mechanism of G protein-coupled receptor functional selectivity: Muscarinic partial agonist McN-A-343 as a bitopic orthosteric/allosteric ligand

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Many G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) possess allosteric binding sites distinct from the orthosteric site utilized by their cognate ligands, but most GPCR allosteric modulators reported to date lack signaling efficacy in their own right. McN-A-343 (4-(3-chlorophenyl) carbamoyloxy)- 2 - butynyltrimethyl ammonium chloride), is a functionally selective muscarinic acetylcholine receptor (mAChR) partial agonist that can also interact allosterically at the M2 mAChR. We hypothesized that this molecule simultaneously utilizes both an allosteric and the orthosteric site on the M2 mAChR to mediate these effects. By synthesizing progressively truncated McN-A-343 derivatives, we identified two, which minimally contain 3-chlorophenylcarbamate, as pure allosteric modulators. These compounds were positive modulators of the orthosteric antagonist, [3H]-N-methylscopolamine ([3H]NMS), but in functional assays of M2 mAChR-mediated ERK 1/2 phosphorylation and [35S]GTPS binding, they were negative modulators of agonist efficacy. This negative allosteric effect was diminished upon mutation of Tyr177Ala in the second extracellular (E2) loop of the M2 mAChR, which is known to reduce prototypical allosteric modulator potency. Our results are consistent with McN-A-343 being a bitopic orthosteric/allosteric ligand, with the allosteric moiety engendering partial agonism and functional selectivity. This finding suggests a novel and largely unappreciated mechanism of directed efficacy , whereby functional selectivity may be engendered in a GPCR by utilizing an allosteric ligand to direct the signaling of an orthosteric ligand encoded within the same molecule.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29312 - 29321
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number43
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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