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Comparative Study
, 337 (1), 236-46

Pharmacology of GPR55 in Yeast and Identification of GSK494581A as a Mixed-Activity Glycine Transporter Subtype 1 Inhibitor and GPR55 Agonist

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Comparative Study

Pharmacology of GPR55 in Yeast and Identification of GSK494581A as a Mixed-Activity Glycine Transporter Subtype 1 Inhibitor and GPR55 Agonist

Andrew J Brown et al. J Pharmacol Exp Ther.

Abstract

GPR55 is a G protein-coupled receptor activated by L-α-lysophosphatidylinositol and suggested to have roles in pain signaling, bone morphogenesis, and possibly in vascular endothelial cells. It has affinity for certain cannabinoids (molecules that interact with the cannabinoid CB(1) and CB(2) receptors), but investigation of its functional role in cell-based systems and in tissue has been limited by a lack of selective pharmacological tools. Here, we present our characterization of GPR55 in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and in human embryonic kidney (HEK293) cells. We describe GSK494581A (1-{2-fluoro-4-[1-(methyloxy)ethyl]phenyl}-4-{[4'-fluoro-4-(methylsulfonyl)-2-biphenylyl]carbonyl}piperazine), a selective small-molecule ligand of GPR55 identified through diversity screening. GSK494581A is one of a series of benzoylpiperazines originally identified and patented as inhibitors of the glycine transporter subtype 1 (GlyT1). The structure-activity relationship between GPR55 and GlyT1 is divergent across this series. The most GPR55-selective example is GSK575594A (3-fluoro-4-(4-{[4'-fluoro-4-(methylsulfonyl)-2-biphenylyl]carbonyl}-1-piperazinyl)aniline), which is approximately 60-fold selective for GPR55 (pEC(50) = 6.8) over GlyT1 (pIC(50) = 5.0). Several exemplars with activity at GPR55 and GlyT1 have been profiled at a broad range of other molecular targets and are inactive at cannabinoid receptors and all other targets tested. The benzoylpiperazine agonists activate human GPR55 but not rodent GPR55, suggesting that the relatively low level of sequence identity between these orthologs (75%) translates to important functional differences in the ligand-binding site.

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