Discovery and characterization of a G protein-biased agonist that inhibits β-arrestin recruitment to the D2 dopamine receptor.

Authors: Free RB, Chun LS, Moritz AE, Miller BN, Doyle TB, Conroy JL, Padron A, Meade JA, Xiao J, Hu X, Dulcey AE, Han Y, Duan L, Titus S, Bryant-Genevier M, Barnaeva E, Ferrer M, Javitch JA, Beuming T, Shi L, Southall NT, Marugan JJ, Sibley DR.
Publisher/Year: Mol Pharmacol. 2014 86(1):96-105.
Pub Med ID/Journal ID: PMID:24755247


A high-throughput screening campaign was conducted to interrogate a 380,000+ small-molecule library for novel D2 dopamine receptor modulators using a calcium mobilization assay. Active agonist compounds from the primary screen were examined for orthogonal D2 dopamine receptor signaling activities including cAMP modulation and β-arrestin recruitment. Although the majority of the subsequently confirmed hits activated all signaling pathways tested, several compounds showed a diminished ability to stimulate β-arrestin recruitment. One such compound (MLS1547; 5-chloro-7-[(4-pyridin-2-ylpiperazin-1-yl)methyl]quinolin-8-ol) is a highly efficacious agonist at D2 receptor-mediated G protein-linked signaling, but does not recruit β-arrestin as demonstrated using two different assays. This compound does, however, antagonize dopamine-stimulated β-arrestin recruitment to the D2 receptor. In an effort to investigate the chemical scaffold of MLS1547 further, we characterized a set of 24 analogs of MLS1547 with respect to their ability to inhibit cAMP accumulation or stimulate β-arrestin recruitment. A number of the analogs were similar to MLS1547 in that they displayed agonist activity for inhibiting cAMP accumulation, but did not stimulate β-arrestin recruitment (i.e., they were highly biased). In contrast, other analogs displayed various degrees of G protein signaling bias. These results provided the basis to use pharmacophore modeling and molecular docking analyses to build a preliminary structure-activity relationship of the functionally selective properties of this series of compounds. In summary, we have identified and characterized a novel G protein-biased agonist of the D2 dopamine receptor and identified structural features that may contribute to its biased signaling properties.