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Mar Drugs ; 17(12)2019 Nov 28.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31795126


KTM is a 16 amino acid peptide with the sequence WCCSYPGCYWSSSKWC. Here, we present the nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) structure and bioactivity of this rationally designed α-conotoxin (α-CTx) that demonstrates potent inhibition of rat α3ß2-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (rα3ß2-nAChRs). Two bioassays were used to test the efficacy of KTM. First, a qualitative PC12 cell-based assay confirmed that KTM acts as a nAChR antagonist. Second, bioactivity evaluation by two-electrode voltage clamp electrophysiology was used to measure the inhibition of rα3ß2-nAChRs by KTM (IC50 = 0.19 ± 0.02 nM), and inhibition of the same nAChR isoform by α-CTx MII (IC50 = 0.35 ± 0.8 nM). The three-dimensional structure of KTM was determined by NMR spectroscopy, and the final set of 20 structures derived from 32 distance restraints, four dihedral angle constraints, and two disulfide bond constraints overlapped with a mean global backbone root-mean-square deviation (RMSD) of 1.7 ± 0.5 Å. The structure of KTM did not adopt the disulfide fold of α-CTx MII for which it was designed, but instead adopted a flexible ribbon backbone and disulfide connectivity of C2-C16 and C3-C8 with an estimated 12.5% α-helical content. In contrast, α-CTx MII, which has a native fold of C2-C8 and C3-C16, has an estimated 38.1% α-helical secondary structure. KTM is the first reported instance of a Framework I (CC-C-C) α-CTx with ribbon connectivity to display sub-nanomolar inhibitory potency of rα3ß2-nAChR subtypes.

Toxins (Basel) ; 11(12)2019 11 20.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31757080


A pheochromocytoma of the rat adrenal medulla derived (a.k.a. PC12) cell-based assay for dopamine measurement by luminescence detection was customized for the qualitative evaluation of agonists and antagonists of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). The assay mechanism begins with ligand binding to transmembrane nAChRs, altering ion flow into the cell and inducing dopamine release from the cell. Following release, dopamine is oxidized by monoamine oxidase generating hydrogen peroxide that catalyzes a chemiluminescence reaction involving luminol and horseradish peroxidase, thus producing a detectable response. Results are presented for the action of nAChR agonists (acetylcholine, nicotine, and cytisine), and antagonists (α-conotoxins (α-CTxs) MII, ImI, LvIA, and PeIA) that demonstrate a luminescence response correlating to the increase or decrease of dopamine release. A survey of cell growth and treatment conditions, including nerve growth factor, nicotine, ethanol, and temperature, led to optimal assay requirements to achieve maximal signal intensity and consistent response to ligand treatment. It was determined that PC12 cells treated with a combination of nerve growth factor and nicotine, and incubated at 37 °C, provided favorable results for a reduction in luminescence signal upon treatment of cells with α-CTxs. The PC12 assay is intended for use as a fast, efficient, and economic qualitative method to assess the bioactivity of molecules that act on nAChRs, in which testing of ligand-nAChR binding hypotheses and computational predictions can be validated. As a screening method for nAChR bioactivity, lead compounds can be assessed for their likelihood of exhibiting desired bioactivity prior to being subjected to more complex quantitative methods, such as electrophysiology or live animal studies.

Toxins (Basel) ; 11(2)2019 02 13.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30781866


Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are found throughout the mammalian body and have been studied extensively because of their implication in a myriad of diseases. α-Conotoxins (α-CTxs) are peptide neurotoxins found in the venom of marine snails of genus Conus. α-CTxs are potent and selective antagonists for a variety of nAChR isoforms. Over the past 40 years, α-CTxs have proven to be valuable molecular probes capable of differentiating between closely related nAChR subtypes and have contributed greatly to understanding the physiological role of nAChRs in the mammalian nervous system. Here, we review the amino acid composition and structure of several α-CTxs that selectively target nAChR isoforms and explore strategies and outcomes for introducing mutations in native α-CTxs to direct selectivity and enhance binding affinity for specific nAChRs. This review will focus on structure-activity relationship studies involving native α-CTxs that have been rationally mutated and molecular interactions that underlie binding between ligand and nAChR isoform.

Conotoxinas/genética , Conotoxinas/metabolismo , Receptores Nicotínicos/química , Receptores Nicotínicos/metabolismo , Animais , Humanos , Mutagênese , Mutação , Conformação Proteica , Relação Estrutura-Atividade