The P2Y1 receptor is a member of the P2Y family of nucleotide-activated G protein-coupled receptors, and it is an important therapeutic target based on its broad tissue distribution and essential role in platelet aggregation. We have designed a set of highly selective and diverse pharmacological tools for studying the P2Y1 receptor using a rational approach to ligand design. Based on the discovery that bisphosphate analogues of the P2Y1 receptor agonist, ADP, are partial agonists/competitive antagonists of this receptor, an iterative approach was used to develop competitive antagonists with enhanced affinity and selectivity. Halogen substitutions of the 2-position of the adenine ring provided increased affinity while an N6 methyl substitution eliminated partial agonist activity. Furthermore, various replacements of the ribose ring with symmetrically branched, phosphorylated acyclic structures revealed that the ribose is not necessary for recognition at the P2Y1 receptor. Finally, replacement of the ribose ring with a five member methanocarba ring constrained in the Northern conformation conferred dramatic increases in affinity to both P2Y1 receptor antagonists as well as agonists. These combined structural modifications have resulted in a series of selective high affinity antagonists of the P2Y1 receptor, two broadly applicable radioligands, and a high affinity agonist capable of selectively activating the P2Y1 receptor in human platelets. Complementary receptor modeling and computational ligand docking have provided a putative structural framework for the drug-receptor interactions. A similar rational approach is being applied to develop selective ligands for other subtypes of P2Y receptors.
Keywords: Adenosine-3', 5'-bisphosphate, MRS2179, MRS2279, MRS2500, P2Y receptors, P2Y1 receptor, platelet aggregation, radioligand
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