Browsing by Subject "G protein-coupled receptor"

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  • Karhu, Lasse; Turku, Ainoleena; Xhaard, Henri (2015)
    Background: Interactions between the orexin peptides and their cognate OX1 and OX2 receptors remain poorly characterized. Site-directed mutagenesis studies on orexin peptides and receptors have indicated amino acids important for ligand binding and receptor activation. However, a better understanding of specific pairwise interactions would benefit small molecule discovery. Results: We constructed a set of three-dimensional models of the orexin 1 receptor based on the 3D-structures of the orexin 2 receptor (released while this manuscript was under review), neurotensin receptor 1 and chemokine receptor CXCR4, conducted an exhaustive docking of orexin-A(16-33) peptide fragment with ZDOCK and RDOCK, and analyzed a total of 4301 complexes through multidimensional scaling and clustering. The best docking poses reveal two alternative binding modes, where the C-terminus of the peptide lies deep in the binding pocket, on average about 5-6 angstrom above Tyr(6.48) and close to Gln(3.32). The binding modes differ in the about 100 degrees rotation of the peptide; the peptide His26 faces either the receptor's fifth transmembrane helix or the seventh helix. Both binding modes are well in line with previous mutation studies and partake in hydrogen bonding similar to suvorexant. Conclusions: We present two binding modes for orexin-A into orexin 1 receptor, which help rationalize previous results from site-directed mutagenesis studies. The binding modes should serve small molecule discovery, and offer insights into the mechanism of receptor activation.
  • Thompson, Miles D.; Xhaard, Henri; Sakurai, Takeshi; Rainero, Innocenzo; Kukkonen, Jyrki P. (2014)
    Orexin/hypocretin peptide mutations are rare in humans. Even though human narcolepsy is associated with orexin deficiency, this is only extremely rarely due to mutations in the gene coding prepro-orexin, the precursor for both orexin peptides. In contrast, coding and non-coding variants of the OX1 and OX2 orexin receptors have been identified in many human populations; sometimes, these have been associated with disease phenotype, although most confer a relatively low risk. In most cases, these studies have been based on a candidate gene hypothesis that predicts the involvement of orexins in the relevant pathophysiological processes. In the current review, the known human OX1/HCRTR1 and OX2/HCRTR2 genetic variants/polymorphisms as well as studies concerning their involvement in disorders such as narcolepsy, excessive daytime sleepiness, cluster headache, polydipsia-hyponatremia in schizophrenia, and affective disorders are discussed. In most cases, the functional cellular or pharmacological correlates of orexin variants have not been investigated-with the exception of the possible impact of an amino acid 10 Pro/Ser variant of OX2 on orexin potency-leaving conclusions on the nature of the receptor variant effects speculative. Nevertheless, we present perspectives that could shape the basis for further studies. The pharmacology and other properties of the orexin receptor variants are discussed in the context of GPCR signaling. Since orexinergic therapeutics are emerging, the impact of receptor variants on the affinity or potency of ligands deserves consideration. This perspective (pharmacogenetics) is also discussed in the review.
  • Karhu, Lasse; Weisell, Janne; Turunen, Pauli M.; Leino, Teppo O.; Pätsi, Henri; Xhaard, Henri; Kukkonen, Jyrki P.; Wallén, Erik A.A. (2018)
    The peptides orexin-A and -B, the endogenous agonists of the orexin receptors, have similar 19-amino-acid C-termini which retain full maximum response as truncated peptides with only marginally reduced potency, while further N-terminal truncations successively reduce the activity. The peptides have been suggested to bind in an α‐helical conformation, and truncation beyond a certain critical length is likely to disrupt the overall helical structure. In this study, we set out to stabilize the α‐helical conformation of orexin‐A15–33 via peptide stapling at four different sites. At a suggested hinge region, we varied the length of the cross-linker as well as replaced the staple with two α-aminoisobutyric acid residues. Modifications close to the peptide C‐terminus, which is crucial for activity, were not allowed. However, central and N‐terminal modifications yielded bioactive peptides, albeit with decreased potencies. This provides evidence that the orexin receptors can accommodate and be activated by α-helical peptides. The decrease in potency is likely linked to a stabilization of suboptimal peptide conformation or blocking of peptide backbone–receptor interactions at the hinge region by the helical stabilization or the modified amino acids.