Conditional and Reversible Activation of Class A and B G Protein-Coupled Receptors Using Tethered Pharmacology
Podewin T., Ast J., Broichhagen J., Fine NHF., Nasteska D., Leippe P., Gailer M., Buenaventura T., Kanda N., Jones BJ., M'Kadmi C., Baneres JL., Marie J., Tomas A., Trauner D., Hoffmann-Röder A., Hodson DJ.
© 2018 American Chemical Society. Understanding the activation and internalization of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) using conditional approaches is paramount to developing new therapeutic strategies. Here, we describe the design, synthesis, and testing of ExONatide, a benzylguanine-linked peptide agonist of the glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP-1R), a class B GPCR required for maintenance of glucose levels in humans. ExONatide covalently binds to SNAP-tagged GLP-1R-expressing cells, leading to prolonged cAMP generation, Ca2+ rises, and intracellular retention of the receptor. These effects were readily switched OFF following cleavage of the introduced disulfide bridge using the cell-permeable reducing agent beta-mercaptoethanol (BME). A similar approach could be extended to a class A GPCR using GhrelON, a benzylguanine-linked peptide agonist of the growth hormone secretagogue receptor 1a (GHS-R1a), which is involved in food intake and growth. Thus, ExONatide and GhrelON allow SNAP-tag-directed activation of class A and B GPCRs involved in gut hormone signaling in a reversible manner. This tactic, termed reductively cleavable agONist (RECON), may be useful for understanding GLP-1R and GHS-R1a function both in vitro and in vivo, with applicability across GPCRs.