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Department of Pharmacology

Stampelou, M, Suchankova, A, Tzortzini, E, Dhingra, L, Barkan, K, Lougiakis, N, Marakos, P, Pouli, N, Ladds, G, Kolocouris, A

Drugs targeting adenosine receptors (AR) can provide treatment for diseases. We report the identification of 7-(phenylamino)-pyrazolo[3,4-c]pyridines L2-L10, A15, and A17 as low-micromolar to low-nanomolar A1R/A3R dual antagonists, with 3-phenyl-5-cyano-7-(trimethoxyphenylamino)-pyrazolo[3,4-c]pyridine (A17) displaying the highest affinity at both receptors with a long residence time of binding, as determined using a NanoBRET-based assay. Two binding orientations of A17 produce stable complexes inside the orthosteric binding area of A1R in molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, and we selected the most plausible orientation based on the agreement with alanine mutagenesis supported by affinity experiments. Interestingly, for drug design purposes, the mutation of L2506.51 to alanine increased the binding affinity of A17 at A1R. We explored the structure-activity relationships against A1R using alchemical binding free energy calculations with the thermodynamic integration coupled with the MD simulation (TI/MD) method, applied on the whole G-protein-coupled receptor-membrane system, which showed a good agreement (r = 0.73) between calculated and experimental relative binding free energies.

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Published date: 
13 October 2022
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Publication type: 
Journal articles
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J Med Chem
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