The Kinetic Component in Drug Discovery: Using the Most Basic Pharmacological Concepts to Advance in Selecting Drugs to Combat CNS Diseases

Author(s): Rafael Franco*, Josema Castelló, Enric I. Canela

Journal Name: Current Neuropharmacology

Volume 18 , Issue 3 , 2020

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Graphical Abstract:


To reach the central nervous system (CNS), drugs must cross the brain-blood barrier and have appropriate pharmacokinetic/dynamic properties. However, in early drug discovery steps, the selection of lead compounds, for example, those targeting G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), is made according to i) affinity, which is calculated in in vitro equilibrium conditions, and ii) potency, a signal transduction-related parameter, usually quantified at a fixed time-point in a heterologous expression system. This paper argues that kinetics must be considered in the early steps of lead compound selection. While affinity calculation requires the establishment of a ligand-receptor equilibrium, the signal transduction starts as soon as the receptor senses the agonist. Taking cAMP production as an example, the in vitro-measured cytoplasmic levels of this cyclic nucleotide do not depend on equilibrium dissociation constant, KD. Signaling occurs far from the equilibrium and correlates more with the binding rate (kon) than with KD. Furthermore, residence time, a parameter to consider in lead optimization, may significantly vary from in vitro to in vivo conditions. The results are discussed from the perspective of dopaminergic neurotransmission and dopaminereceptor- based drug discovery.

Keywords: Agonist binding, association, dissociation, equilibrium constant, GPCR, rate constants.

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Article Details

Year: 2020
Published on: 01 October, 2019
Page: [250 - 257]
Pages: 8
DOI: 10.2174/1570159X17666191001144309
Price: $65

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