The CC chemokine receptor 7 (CCR7) balances immunity and tolerance by homeostatic trafficking of immune cells. In cancer, CCR7-mediated trafficking leads to lymph node metastasis, suggesting the receptor as a promising therapeutic target. Here, we present the crystal structure of human CCR7 fused to the protein Sialidase NanA by using data up to 2.1 Å resolution. The structure shows the ligand Cmp2105 bound to an intracellular allosteric binding pocket. A sulfonamide group, characteristic for various chemokine receptor ligands, binds to a patch of conserved residues in the Gi protein binding region between transmembrane helix 7 and helix 8. We demonstrate how structural data can be used in combination with a compound repository and automated thermal stability screening to identify and modulate allosteric chemokine receptor antagonists. We detect both novel (CS-1 and CS-2) and clinically relevant (CXCR1-CXCR2 phase-II antagonist Navarixin) CCR7 modulators with implications for multi-target strategies against cancer.
Keywords: CCR7; G protein-coupled receptors; allosteric modulation; cancer; chemokine receptors; crystal structure; lymph node metastasis; membrane proteins; structure-based drug screening.
Copyright © 2019 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.