Small Molecule Inhibitors of Regulator of G Protein Signalling (RGS) Proteins

ACS Med Chem Lett. 2012 Feb 9;3(2):146-150. doi: 10.1021/ml200263y.


Recently regulators of G protein signalling (RGS) proteins have emerged as potential therapeutic targets since they provide an alternative method of modulating the activity of GPCRs, the target of so many drugs. Inhibitors of RGS proteins must block a protein-protein interaction (RGS-Gα), but also be cell and, depending on the therapeutic target, blood brain barrier permeable. A lead compound (1a) was identified as an inhibitor of RGS4 in a screening assay and this has now been optimised for activity, selectivity and solubility. The newly developed ligands (11b, 13) display substantial selectivity over the closely related RGS8 protein, lack the off-target calcium mobilisation activity of the lead 1a and have excellent aqueous solubility. They are currently being evaluated in vivo in rodent models of depression.