Identification of SR8278, a synthetic antagonist of the nuclear heme receptor REV-ERB

ACS Chem Biol. 2011 Feb 18;6(2):131-4. doi: 10.1021/cb1002575. Epub 2010 Nov 10.


REV-ERBα is a member of the nuclear receptor superfamily that functions as a receptor for the porphoryin heme. REV-ERBα suppresses transcription of its target genes in a heme-dependent manner. Recently, the first nonporphyrin synthetic ligand for REV-ERBα, GSK4112, was designed, and it mimics the action of heme acting as agonist. Here, we report the identification of the first REV-ERB antagonist, SR8278. SR8278 is structurally similar to the agonist but blocks the ability of the GSK4112 to enhance REV-ERBα-dependent repression in a cotransfection assay. Additionally, whereas GSK4112 suppresses the expression of REV-ERBα target genes involved in gluconeogenesis, SR8278 stimulates the expression of these genes. Thus, SR8278 represents a unique chemical tool for probing REV-ERB function and may serve as a point for initiation of further optimization to develop REV-ERB antagonists with the ability to explore circadian and metabolic functions.

Publication types

  • Letter
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Binding Sites
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Co-Repressor Proteins / metabolism
  • DNA, Complementary / metabolism
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Gluconeogenesis
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Heme / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Isoquinolines / chemical synthesis
  • Isoquinolines / chemistry
  • Isoquinolines / pharmacology*
  • Nuclear Receptor Subfamily 1, Group D, Member 1 / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Nuclear Receptor Subfamily 1, Group D, Member 1 / genetics
  • Nuclear Receptor Subfamily 1, Group D, Member 1 / metabolism
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Protease Inhibitors / chemical synthesis
  • Protease Inhibitors / chemistry
  • Protease Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Thiophenes / chemical synthesis
  • Thiophenes / chemistry
  • Thiophenes / pharmacology*


  • Co-Repressor Proteins
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Isoquinolines
  • Nuclear Receptor Subfamily 1, Group D, Member 1
  • Protease Inhibitors
  • SR 8278
  • Thiophenes
  • Heme