The forebrain specific AMPA receptor antagonist, LY3130481/CERC-611, which selectively antagonizes the AMPA receptors associated with TARP γ-8, an auxiliary subunit enriched in the forebrain, has potent antiepileptic activities without motor side effects. We designated the compounds with such activities as γ-8 TARP dependent AMPA receptor antagonists (γ-8 TDAAs). In this work, we further investigated the mechanisms of action using a radiolabeled γ-8 TDAA and ternary structural modeling with mutational validations to characterize the LY3130481 binding to γ-8. The radioligand binding to the cells heterologously expressing GluA1 and/or γ-8 revealed that γ-8 TDAAs binds to γ-8 alone without AMPA receptors. Homology modeling of γ-8, based on the crystal structures of a distant TARP homologue, murine claudin 19, in conjunction with knowledge of two γ-8 residues previously identified as critical for the LY3130481 TARP-dependent selectivity provided the basis for a binding mode prediction. This allowed further rational mutational studies for characterization of the structural determinants in TARP γ-8 for LY3130481 activities, both thermodynamically as well as kinetically.
Keywords: Structural modeling; TDAA; glutamate receptor; ionotropic; stargazer; stargazin.