Willard, Melinda D.; Lajiness, Mary E.; Wulur, Isabella H.; Feng, Bo; Swearingen, Michelle L.; Uhlik, Mark T.; Kinzler, Kenneth W.; Velculescu, Victor E.; Sjöblom, Tobias; Markowitz, Sanford D.; Powell, Steven M.; Vogelstein, Bert; Barber, Thomas D.
The roles of cholecystokinin 2 receptor (CCK2R) in numerous physiologic processes in the gastrointestinal tract and central nervous system are ‘well documented. There has been some evidence that CCK2R alterations play a role in cancers, but the functional significance of these alterations for tumorigenesis is unknown. We have identified six mutations in CCK2R among a panel of 140 colorectal cancers and 44 gastric cancers. We show that these mutations increase receptor activity, activate multiple downstream signaling pathways, increase cell migration, and promote angiogenesis. Our findings suggest that somatic mutations in CCK2R may promote tumorigenesis through deregulated receptor activity and highlight the importance of evaluating CCK2R inhibitors to block both the normal and mutant forms of the receptor. PMID:22516348
Roy, Jyoti; Putt, Karson S.; Coppola, Domenico; Leon, Marino E.; Khalil, Farah K.; Centeno, Barbara A.; Clark, Noel; Stark, Valerie E.; Morse, David L.; Low, Philip S.
The expression of cholecystokinin 2 receptor (CCK2R, CCKBR or gastrin receptor) has been reported on a diverse range of cancers such as colorectal, liver, lung, pancreatic, ovarian, stomach, thyroid and numerous neuroendocrine/carcinoid tumors. Some cancers of the colorectum, lung, pancreas and thyroid have been shown to overexpress CCK2R in relation to normal matched tissues of the same organ. This reported overexpression has led to the development of a number of CCK2R-ligand targeted imaging and therapeutic agents. However, no comprehensive study comparing the expression of CCK2R in multiple cancers to multiple normal tissues has been performed. Herein, we report the immunohistochemical analysis of cancer samples from gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST), hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), pancreatic adenocarcinoma, and thyroid cancer against multiple normal tissue samples from esophagus, liver, lung, pancreas, stomach, spleen and thyroid. These results show that CCK2R expression is present in nearly all cancer and normal samples tested and that none of the cancer samples had expression that was statistically greater than that of all of the normal samples. PMID:26910279
As the delivery of selectively targeted cytotoxic agents via antibodies or small molecule ligands to malignancies has begun to show promise in the clinic, the need to identify and validate additional cellular targets for specific therapeutic delivery is critical. Although a multitude of cancers have been targeted using the folate receptor, PSMA, bombesin receptor, somatostatin receptor, LHRH, and αvβ3, there is a notable lack of specific small molecule ligand/receptor pairs to cellular targets found within cancers of the GI tract. Because of the selective GI tract expression of the cholecystokinin 2 receptor (CCK2R), we undertook the creation of conjugates that would deliver microtubule-disrupting drugs to malignancies through the specific targeting of CCK2R via a high affinity small molecule ligand. The cytotoxic activity of these conjugates were shown to be receptor mediated in vitro and in vivo with xenograft mouse models exhibiting delayed growth or regression of tumors that expressed CCK2R. Overall, this work demonstrates that ligands to CCK2R can be used to create selectively targeted therapeutic conjugates. PMID:26043355
Bellier, B; Million, M E; DaNascimento, S; Meudal, H; Kellou, S; Maigret, B; Garbay, C
Recent advances in the field of cholecystokinin have indicated the possible occurrence of multiple affinity states of the CCK(2) receptor. Besides, numerous pharmacological experiments performed "in vitro" and "in vivo" support the eventuality of different pharmacological profiles associated to CCK(2) ligands. Indeed, some agonists are essentially anxiogenic and uneffective in memory tests, whereas others are not anxiogenic and appear as able to reinforce memory. The reference compound for the latter profile is the CCK-8 analogue BC 264 (Boc-Tyr(SO(3)H)-gNle-mGly-Trp-(NMe)Nle-Asp-Phe-NH(2)). However, although tetrapeptide ligands based on CCK-4 (Trp-Met-Asp-Phe-NH(2)) are known to possess sufficient structural features for CCK(2) recognition, none shares the properties of BC 264. Hence we have developed new short peptidic or pseudo-peptidic derivatives containing the C-terminal tetrapeptide of BC 264. Our results indicate that some compounds characterized by the presence of two carbonyl groups at the N-terminus, as in 2b (HO(2)C-CH(2)-CONH-Trp-(NMe)Nle-Asp-Phe-NH(2)), are likely to show a BC 264-like profile, bind to the CCK(2) receptor in a specific way, and display remarkable affinities (2b: 0.28 nM on guinea-pig cortex membrane preparations). This original binding mode is discussed and further enlightened by NMR and molecular modeling studies. PMID:11020275
Boyce, Malcolm; Dowen, Sally; Turnbull, Gillian; van den Berg, Frans; Zhao, Chun-Mei; Chen, Duan; Black, James
Aims To compare gastric acid suppression by netazepide, a gastrin/CCK2 receptor antagonist, with that by a proton pump inhibitor (PPI), and to determine if netazepide can prevent the trophic effects of PPI-induced hypergastrinaemia. Methods Thirty healthy subjects completed a double-blind, randomized, parallel group trial of oral netazepide and rabeprazole, alone and combined, once daily for 6 weeks. Primary end points were: basal and pentagastrin-stimulated gastric acid and 24 h circulating gastrin and chromogranin A (CgA) at baseline, start and end of treatment, gastric biopsies at baseline and end of treatment and basal and pentagastrin-stimulated gastric acid and dyspepsia questionnaire after treatment withdrawal. Results All treatments similarly inhibited pentagastrin-stimulated gastric acid secretion. All treatments increased serum gastrin, but the combination and rabeprazole did so more than netazepide alone. The combination also reduced basal acid secretion. Rabeprazole increased plasma CgA, whereas netazepide and the combination reduced it. None of the biopsies showed enterochromaffin-like (ECL) cell hyperplasia. Withdrawal of treatments led neither to rebound hyperacidity nor dyspepsia. Conclusions Netazepide suppressed pentagastrin-stimulated gastric acid secretion as effectively as did rabeprazole. The reduction in basal acid secretion and greater increase in serum gastrin by the combination is consistent with more effective acid suppression. Despite our failure to show rabeprazole-induced ECL cell hyperplasia and rebound hyperacidity, the increase in plasma CgA after rabeprazole is consistent with a trophic effect on ECL cells, which netazepide prevented. Thus, netazepide is a potential treatment for the trophic effects of hypergastrinaemia and, with or without a PPI, is a potential treatment for acid-related conditions. PMID:25335860
Brillouet, S.; Caselles, O.; Dierickx, L. O.; Mestre, B.; Nalis, J.; Picard, C.; Favre, G.; Poirot, M.; Silvente-Poirot, S.; Courbon, F.
The cholecystokinin(CCK)/gastrin 2 receptors (R-CCK2) are overexpressed in 90% of medullary thyroid cancers (MTC) and in 60% of small cell lung cancers but not or poorly in corresponding healthy tissues. They represent a relevant target for the diagnosis and internal targeted radiotherapy of these tumors. Although previous studies have demonstrated the feasibility of radiolabeled CCK/gastrin to target CCK-2 receptor-expressing tissues in animals and patients, some problems remained unsolved to identify an optimum candidate for in vivo targeting of R-CCK2-expressing tumors. By a rational approach and " in silico" drug design, we synthesized a new CCK-derivative with high affinity for the R-CCK2. The aim of this study was to achieve the radiolabeling of a new radioligand, to assess its efficacy using a published CCK radioligand ( 111In-DTPA-CCK8) as a control for the R-CCK2 targeting. This new CCK-derivative was radiolabeled with 111In. Nude mice, bearing the human MTC TT tumors and NIH-3T3 cell line expressing a tumorigenic mutant of the R-CCK2, were injected with this radiolabeled peptide. In vivo planar scintigraphies were acquired. Thereafter, biodistribution studies (%ID/g tissue) were done. The conditions of radiolabelling were optimized to obtain a radiochemical purity >90%. Scintigraphic images of xenograft mice showed significant tumor uptake with a target to nontarget ratio higher than two. These results were confirmed by the biodistribution studies which showed as expected a significant activity in the spleen, the liver and the kidneys. Therefore, this new radiolabeled compound is a promised new candidate for molecular imaging and internal radiotherapy for R-CCK2 tumor targeting.
Berna, Marc J.; Jensen, Robert T.
In this paper, the estabished and possible roles of CCK1 and CCK2 receptors in gastrointestinal (GI) and metabolic diseases are reviewed and available results from human agonist/antagonist studies are discussed. While there is evidence for the involvement of CCK1R in numerous diseases including pancreatic disorders, motility disorders, tumor growth, regulation of satiety and a number of CCK-deficient states, the role of CCK1R in these conditions is not clearly defined. There are encouraging data from several clinical studies of CCK1R antagonists in some of these conditions, but their role as therapeutic agents remains unclear. The role of CCK2R in physiological (atrophic gastritis, pernicious anemia) and pathological (Zollinger-Ellison syndrome) hypergastrinemic states, its effects on the gastric mucosa (ECL cell hyperplasia, carcinoids, parietal cell mass) and its role in acid-peptic disorders are clearly defined. Furthermore, recent studies point to a possible role for CCK2R in a number of GI malignancies. Current data from human studies of CCK2R antagonists are presented and their potential role in the treatment of these conditions reviewed. Furthermore, the role of CCK2 receptors as targets for medical imaging is discussed. Even though cholecystokinin (CCK) and gastrin were among the first gastrointestinal hormones discovered [1,2], both their physiological roles as well as their roles in clinically relevant gastrointestinal diseases remain unclear and even controversial in many cases [3–6]. The structural characterization of CCK and gastrin [7,8], pharmacological identification [9–13] and cloning [14,15] of CCK and gastrin receptors (CCK1R, CCK2R), characterization of receptor location, peptide and receptor genes, development of receptor antagonists and receptor/agonist knockout animals [16–21] have led to important advancements in our understanding of the physiological and pathophysiological role of CCK and gastrin signaling . Most of these topics
Dayan Elshan, N. G. R.; Jayasundera, Thanuja; Weber, Craig S.; Lynch, Ronald M.; Mash, Eugene A.
The synthesis, characterization, and use of Eu-DTPA-PEGO-Trp-Nle-Asp-Phe-NH2 (Eu-DTPA-PEGO-CCK4), a luminescent probe targeted to cholecystokinin 2 receptor (CCK2R, aka CCKBR), are described. The probe was prepared by solid phase synthesis. A Kd value of 17 ± 2 nM was determined by means of saturation binding assays using HEK-293 cells that overexpress CCK2R. The probe was then used in competitive binding assays against Ac-CCK4 and three new trivalent CCK4 compounds. Repeatable and reproducible binding assay results were obtained. Given its ease of synthesis, purification, receptor binding properties, and utility in competitive binding assays, Eu-DTPA-PEGO-CCK4 could become a standard tool for high-throughput screening of compounds in development targeted to cholecystokinin receptors. PMID:25769518
Brom, Maarten; Joosten, Lieke; Laverman, Peter; Oyen, Wim J.G.; Béhé, Martin; Gotthardt, Martin; Boerman, Otto C.
In comparison to somatostatin receptor scintigraphy, gastrin receptor scintigraphy using 111In-DTPA-minigastrin (MG0) showed added value in diagnosing neuroendocrine tumors. We investigated whether the 68Ga-labeled gastrin analogue DOTA-MG0 is suited for positron emission tomography (PET), which could improve image quality. Targeting of cholecystokinin-2 (CCK2)/gastrin receptor–positive tumor cells with DOTA-MG0 labeled with either 111In or 68Ga in vitro was investigated using the AR42J rat tumor cell line. Biodistribution was examined in BALB/c nude mice with a subcutaneous AR42J tumor. In vivo PET imaging was performed using a preclinical PET–computed tomographic scanner. DOTA-MG0 showed high receptor affinity in vitro. Biodistribution studies revealed high tumor uptake of 68Ga-DOTA-MG0: 4.4 ± 1.3 %ID/g at 1 hour postinjection. Coadministration of an excess unlabeled peptide blocked the tumor uptake (0.7 ± 0.1 %ID/g), indicating CCK2/gastrin receptor–mediated uptake (p = .0005). The biodistribution of 68Ga-DOTA-MG0 was similar to that of 111In-DOTA-MG0. Subcutaneous and intraperitoneal tumors were clearly visualized by small-animal PET imaging with 5 MBq 68Ga-DOTA-MG0. 111In- and 68Ga-labeled DOTA-MG0 specifically accumulate in CCK2/gastrin receptor–positive AR42J tumors with similar biodistribution apart from the kidneys. AR42J tumors were clearly visualized by microPET. Therefore, 68Ga-DOTA-MG0 is a promising tracer for PET imaging of CCK2/gastrin receptor–positive tumors in humans. PMID:21439259
Feng, Xiao-Li; Liu, Xi-Lin; Lu, Shi-Ying; Ren, Hong-Lin; Li, Yan-Song; Hu, Pan; Wang, Quan; Tong, Weihua; Yan, Dong-Ming; Zhou, Yu; Zhang, Song; Jin, Wen; Liu, Zeng-Shan
Gastric cancer is a major cause of mortality and morbidity around world. However the effectiveness of the current approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of gastric cancer is limited. Recombinant targeted toxins may represent a novel direction of cancer therapy. In this study, we aimed to explore whether recombinant toxins fused with the truncated forms of G17 could target to kill cancer cells by recognizing CCK2R. Four recombinant Pseudomonas toxins PE38 fused with the forward or reverse truncated forms of G17 (G14 and G13) were successfully constructed, expressed, and purified. Their characteristics were further analyzed by SDS-PAGE, western blot and indirect immunofluorescence assay. The cytotoxicity assay demonstrated that only reversely fused recombinant toxins rG14PE38 and rG13PE38 exhibited certain toxicity on several cancer cell lines, and a competition assay indicated that the binding of the reverse gastrin-endotoxin to CCK2R (+) cells may be mediated by interaction between gastrin/gastrin-like and CCK2R. PMID:25353354
Lattmann, Eric; Sattayasai, Jintana; Schwalbe, Carl H; Boonprakob, Yodchai; Dunn, Simon; Fajana, Feyisayo; Lattmann, Pornthip
4-Amino-2(5H)-furanones were synthesized in high yields over two synthetic steps from readily available mucochloric acid. These 5-alkyloxy-4-amino-2(5H)-furanones were screened in a () I-CCK-8 radioligand receptor binding assay for CCK2 affinity and novel active ligands in the nanomolar range were identified. SAR was optimized leading to the cyclohexyl derivative 25 with an IC50 of 27 nM. Furanone 18 was obtained as a stable crystalline material with an IC50 of 85 nM, but had a higher CCK2 selectivity. It was subsequently tested in the isolated guinea pig ileum assay with sulfated CCK8 , and the CCK antagonizing properties of the ligand were confirmed. The CCK2 selective antagonist 18 was found to potentiate analgesia in the tail flick assay in mice, for the strong opiate morphine, the partial opiate agonist tramadol and the tricyclic antidepressant desimipramine. PMID:27142294
D’Ascola, Angela; Guerrera, M. Cristina; Levanti, M. Beatrice; Germanà, Antonino; Muglia, Ugo
Background The peptide hormone cholecystokinin (CCK), secreted by the midgut, plays a key role in digestive physiology of vertebrates including teleosts, by stimulating pancreatic secretion, gut motility, and gallbladder contraction, as well as by delaying gastric emptying. Moreover, CCK is involved in the regulation of food intake and satiation. Secretion of CCK by the hindgut is controversial, and its biological activity remains to be elucidated. The present paper addresses the regional distribution of intestinal CCK in the white sea bream, Diplodus sargus, as well as the possible involvement of hindgut CCK in digestive processes. Methodology/Principal Findings Full-lengths mRNAs encoding two CCK isoforms (CCK-1 and CCK-2) were sequenced and phylogenetically analyzed. CCK gene and protein expression levels in the different gut segments were measured 3 h and 72 h after feeding, by quantitative real-time RT-PCR and Western blot, respectively. Moreover, endocrine CCK cells were immunoistochemically detected. Fasting induced a significant decrease in CCK-2 in all intestinal segments, including the hindgut. On the other hand, no significant difference was induced by fasting on hindgut CCK-1. Conclusions/Significance The results demonstrated two CCK isoforms in the hindgut of D.sargus, one of which (CCK-2) may be involved in the feedback control of uncompleted digestive processes. On the other hand, a functional role alternative to regulation of digestive processes may be inferred for D.sargus CCK-1, since its expression was unaffected by feeding or fasting. PMID:23285038
Zhou, LiChun; Yang, Hong; Okoro, Emmanuel U; Guo, Zhongmao
Excessive absorption of intestinal cholesterol is a risk factor for atherosclerosis. This report examines the effect of cholecystokinin (CCK) on plasma cholesterol level and intestinal cholesterol absorption using the in vivo models of C57BL/6 wild-type and low density lipoprotein receptor knock-out (LDLR(-/-)) mice. These data were supported by in vitro studies involving mouse primary intestinal epithelial cells and human Caco-2 cells; both express CCK receptor 1 and 2 (CCK1R and CCK2R). We found that intravenous injection of [Thr(28),Nle(31)]CCK increased plasma cholesterol levels and intestinal cholesterol absorption in both wild-type and LDLR(-/-) mice. Treatment of mouse primary intestinal epithelial cells with [Thr(28),Nle(31)]CCK increased cholesterol absorption, whereas selective inhibition of CCK1R and CCK2R with antagonists attenuated CCK-induced cholesterol absorption. In Caco-2 cells, CCK enhanced CCK1R/CCK2R heterodimerization. Knockdown of both CCK1R and CCK2 or either one of them diminished CCK-induced cholesterol absorption to the same extent. CCK also increased cell surface-associated NPC1L1 (Niemann-Pick C1-like 1) transporters but did not alter their total protein expression. Inhibition or knockdown of NPC1L1 attenuated CCK-induced cholesterol absorption. CCK enhanced phosphatidylinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) and Akt phosphorylation and augmented the interaction between NPC1L1 and Rab11a (Rab-GTPase-11a), whereas knockdown of CCK receptors or inhibition of G protein βγ dimer (Gβγ) diminished CCK-induced PI3K and Akt phosphorylation. Inhibition of PI3K and Akt or knockdown of PI3K diminished CCK-induced NPC1L1-Rab11a interaction and cholesterol absorption. Knockdown of Rab11a suppressed CCK-induced NPC1L1 translocation and cholesterol absorption. These data imply that CCK enhances cholesterol absorption by activation of a pathway involving CCK1R/CCK2R, Gβγ, PI3K, Akt, Rab11a, and NPC1L. PMID:24692543
Desai, Aditya J.; Lam, Polo C.H.; Orry, Andrew; Abagyan, Ruben; Christopoulos, Arthur; Sexton, Patrick M.; Miller, Laurence J.
The type 1 cholecystokinin receptor (CCK1R) has multiple physiologic roles relating to nutrient homeostasis, including mediation of post-cibal satiety. This effect has been central in efforts to develop agonists of this receptor as part of a program to manage and/or prevent obesity. While a number of small molecule CCK1R agonists have been developed, none has yet been approved for clinical use, based on inadequate efficacy, side effects, or the potential for toxicity. Understanding the molecular details of docking and mechanism of action of these ligands can be helpful in the rational refinement and enhancement of small molecule drug candidates. In the current work, we have defined the mechanism of binding and activity of two triazolobenzodiazepinones, CE-326597 and PF-04756956, which are reported to be full agonist ligands. To achieve this, we utilized receptor binding with a series of allosteric and orthosteric radioligands at structurally-related CCK1R and CCK2R, as well as chimeric CCK1R/CCK2R constructs exchanging residues in the allosteric pocket, and assessment of biological activity. These triazolobenzodiazepinones docked within the intramembranous small molecule allosteric ligand pocket, with higher affinity binding to CCK2R than CCK1R, yet with biological activity exclusive to or greatly enhanced at CCK1R. These ligands exhibited cooperativity with benzodiazepine binding across the CCK1R homodimeric complex, resulting in their ability to inhibit only a fraction of the saturable binding of a benzodiazepine radioligand, unlike other small molecule antagonists and agonists of this receptor. This may contribute to the understanding of the unique short duration and reversible gallbladder contraction observed in vivo upon administration of these drugs. PMID:26654202
Dong, Maoqing; Vattelana, Ashton M.; Lam, Polo C.-H.; Orry, Andrew J.; Abagyan, Ruben; Christopoulos, Arthur; Sexton, Patrick M.; Haines, David R.
Understanding the molecular basis of ligand binding to receptors provides insights useful for rational drug design. This work describes development of a new antagonist radioligand of the type 1 cholecystokinin receptor (CCK1R), (2-fluorophenyl)-2,3-dihydro-3-[(3-isoquinolinylcarbonyl)amino]-6-methoxy-2-oxo-l-H-indole-3-propanoate (T-0632), and exploration of the molecular basis of its binding. This radioligand bound specifically with high affinity within an allosteric pocket of CCK1R. T-0632 fully inhibited binding and action of CCK at this receptor, while exhibiting no saturable binding to the closely related type 2 cholecystokinin receptor (CCK2R). Chimeric CCK1R/CCK2R constructs were used to explore the molecular basis of T-0632 binding. Exchanging exonic regions revealed the functional importance of CCK1R exon 3, extending from the bottom of transmembrane segment (TM) 3 to the top of TM5, including portions of the intramembranous pocket as well as the second extracellular loop region (ECL2). However, CCK1R mutants in which each residue facing the pocket was changed to that present in CCK2R had no negative impact on T-0632 binding. Extending the chimeric approach to ECL2 established the importance of its C-terminal region, and site-directed mutagenesis of each nonconserved residue in this region revealed the importance of Ser208 at the top of TM5. A molecular model of T-0632-occupied CCK1R was consistent with these experimental determinants, also identifying Met121 in TM3 and Arg336 in TM6 as important. Although these residues are conserved in CCK2R, mutating them had a distinct impact on the two closely related receptors, suggesting differential orientation. This establishes the molecular basis of binding of a highly selective nonpeptidyl allosteric antagonist of CCK1R, illustrating differences in docking that extend beyond determinants attributable to distinct residues lining the intramembranous pocket in the two receptor subtypes. PMID:25319540
Gouldson, P; Legoux, P; Carillon, C; Delpech, B; Le Fur, G; Ferrara, P; Shire, D
A new highly specific, potent non-peptide agonist for the cholecystokinin subtype 1 receptor (CCK(1)), SR 146131 (2-[4-(4-chloro-2, 5-dimethoxyphenyl)-5-(2-cyclohexyl-ethyl)-thiazol-2-ylcarbamoyl ]-5, 7-dimethyl-indol-1-yl-1-acetic acid) was recently described [Bignon, E., Bachy, A., Boigegrain, R., Brodin, R., Cottineau, M., Gully, D., Herbert, J.-M., Keane, P., Labie, C., Molimard, J.-C., Olliero, D., Oury-Donat, F., Petereau, C., Prabonneaud, V., Rockstroh, M.-P., Schaeffer, P., Servant, O.Thurneyssen, O., Soubrié, P., Pascal, M., Maffrand, J.-P., Le Fur, G., 1999. SR 146131: a new, potent, orally active and selective non-peptide cholecystokinin subtype I receptor agonist: I. In vitro studies. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 289, 742-751]. From binding and activity assays with chimeric constructs of human CCK(1) and the cholecystokinin subtype 2 receptor (CCK(2)) and receptors carrying point mutations, we show that Leu(356), situated in transmembrane domain seven in the CCK(1) receptor, is a putative contact point for SR 146131. In contrast, Leu(356) is probably not in contact with the CCK(1) receptor specific antagonist SR 27897 (1-[2-(4-(2-chlorophenyl)thiazol-2-yl)aminocarbonyl indoyl]acetic acid), a compound structurally related to SR 146131, since its replacement by alanine, histidine or asparagine gave receptors having wild-type CCK(1) receptor SR 27897 binding affinity. Previous mutational analysis of His(381), the cognate position in the rat CCK(2) receptor, had implicated it as being involved in subtype specificity for SR 27897, results which we confirm with corresponding mutations in the human CCK(2) receptor. Moreover, binding and activity assays with the natural CCK receptor agonist, CCK-8S, show that CCK-8S is more susceptible to the mutations in that position in the CCK(1) receptor than in the CCK(2) receptor. The results suggest different binding modes for SR 27897, SR 146131 and CCK-8S in each CCK receptor subtype. PMID:10594328
Dong, Maoqing; Vattelana, Ashton M; Lam, Polo C-H; Orry, Andrew J; Abagyan, Ruben; Christopoulos, Arthur; Sexton, Patrick M; Haines, David R; Miller, Laurence J
Understanding the molecular basis of ligand binding to receptors provides insights useful for rational drug design. This work describes development of a new antagonist radioligand of the type 1 cholecystokinin receptor (CCK1R), (2-fluorophenyl)-2,3-dihydro-3-[(3-isoquinolinylcarbonyl)amino]-6-methoxy-2-oxo-l-H-indole-3-propanoate (T-0632), and exploration of the molecular basis of its binding. This radioligand bound specifically with high affinity within an allosteric pocket of CCK1R. T-0632 fully inhibited binding and action of CCK at this receptor, while exhibiting no saturable binding to the closely related type 2 cholecystokinin receptor (CCK2R). Chimeric CCK1R/CCK2R constructs were used to explore the molecular basis of T-0632 binding. Exchanging exonic regions revealed the functional importance of CCK1R exon 3, extending from the bottom of transmembrane segment (TM) 3 to the top of TM5, including portions of the intramembranous pocket as well as the second extracellular loop region (ECL2). However, CCK1R mutants in which each residue facing the pocket was changed to that present in CCK2R had no negative impact on T-0632 binding. Extending the chimeric approach to ECL2 established the importance of its C-terminal region, and site-directed mutagenesis of each nonconserved residue in this region revealed the importance of Ser(208) at the top of TM5. A molecular model of T-0632-occupied CCK1R was consistent with these experimental determinants, also identifying Met(121) in TM3 and Arg(336) in TM6 as important. Although these residues are conserved in CCK2R, mutating them had a distinct impact on the two closely related receptors, suggesting differential orientation. This establishes the molecular basis of binding of a highly selective nonpeptidyl allosteric antagonist of CCK1R, illustrating differences in docking that extend beyond determinants attributable to distinct residues lining the intramembranous pocket in the two receptor subtypes. PMID:25319540
Mohammad, Shahid; Ozaki, Tomoya; Takeuchi, Kouhei; Unno, Katsuya; Yamoto, Kurumi; Morioka, Eri; Takiguchi, Soichi; Ikeda, Masayuki
Cholecystokinin (CCK) and its receptor subtypes CCK-1 and -2 have diverse homeostatic functions. CCK-1 and -2 receptors share a common phosphatidylinositol signaling pathway, yet little is known regarding their possible functional coupling. We focused on CCK-mediated Ca2+ signaling in parvocellular paraventricular nucleus (PVN) cells, which control satiety and other autonomic functions. Analysis of mouse hypothalamic slices demonstrated that the general CCK receptor agonist CCK-8s (10 nm) triggered Ca2+ transients most significantly in the posterior subregion of the PVN (PaPo). This 10 nm CCK-8s-induced response was absent in CCK-1 receptor knock-out (CCK1R−/−) slices, showing that the response is mediated by CCK-1 receptors. CCK-8s concentrations higher than 30 nm triggered a Ca2+ rise similarly in wild-type and CCK1R−/− slices. The large CCK-8s (100 nm)-induced Ca2+ responses in CCK1R−/− slices were blocked by a CCK-2 receptor antagonist (CI-988), whereas those in wild-type slices required a mixture of CI-988 and lorglumide (a CCK-1 receptor antagonist) for complete antagonism. Therefore, CCK-1 and -2 receptors may function synergistically in single PaPo neurons and deletion of CCK-1 receptors may facilitate CCK-2 receptor signaling. This hypothesis was supported by results of real-time RT-PCR, immunofluorescence double labeling and Western blotting assays, which indicated CCK-2 receptor overexpression in PaPo neurons of CCK1R−/− mice. Furthermore, behavioral studies showed that intraperitoneal injections of lorglumide up-regulated food accesses in wild-type but not in CCK1R−/− mice, whereas CI-988 injections up-regulated food accesses in CCK1R−/− but not in wild-type mice. Compensatory CCK signaling via CCK-2 receptors in CCK1R−/− mice shed light on currently controversial satiety-controlling mechanisms. PMID:23038256
Kaczyńska, Katarzyna; Szereda-Przestaszewska, Małgorzata
The study investigated the share of vagal input at infra- and supra-nodosal level and the contribution of CCK1 and CCK2 receptors to the cardiorespiratory responses produced by an intravenous injection of sulfated cholecystokinin octapeptide (CCK-8) in anesthetized rats. This compound administered intravenously at a dose of 50μg/kg induced short-lived decline in tidal volume and respiratory rate resulting in depression of minute ventilation. Midcervical vagotomy had no effect on CCK-8-evoked ventilatory changes, whereas supranodosal denervation abolished slowing down of breathing. Cardiovascular response to CCK challenge was characterized by a transient decrease followed by an augmentation in the mean blood pressure (MAP) in the intact animals. Vagotomy performed at both levels abrogated the declining phase of MAP. Blood pressure changes were associated with decreased heart rate present in all neural states. All cardiovascular and respiratory effects were antagonized by pre-treatment with devazepide-CCK1 receptors' antagonist, whereas CI988-antagonist of CCK2 receptors was ineffective. In conclusion, our results indicate that CCK-8 modulates slowing down of respiratory rhythm via CCK1 receptors located in the nodose ganglia (NG) and depresses tidal volume via central CCK1 dependent mechanism. CCK-8-evoked decline in blood pressure may be due to activation of vagal afferents, whereas pressor responses seem to be mediated by an activation of CCK1 receptors in the central nervous system. Bradycardia was probably induced by the direct action of CCK-8 on the heart pacemaker cells. PMID:26342277
Aasarød, Kristin M; Ramezanzadehkoldeh, Masoud; Shabestari, Maziar; Mosti, Mats P; Stunes, Astrid K; Reseland, Janne E; Beisvag, Vidar; Eriksen, Erik Fink; Sandvik, Arne K; Erben, Reinhold G; Schüler, Christiane; Boyce, Malcolm; Skallerud, Bjørn H; Syversen, Unni; Fossmark, Reidar
Epidemiological studies suggest an increased fracture risk in patients taking proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) for long term. The underlying mechanism, however, has been disputed. By binding to the gastric proton pump, PPIs inhibit gastric acid secretion. We have previously shown that proton pump (H(+)/K(+)ATPase beta subunit) KO mice exhibit reduced bone mineral density (BMD) and inferior bone strength compared with WT mice. Patients using PPIs as well as these KO mice exhibit gastric hypoacidity, and subsequently increased serum concentrations of the hormone gastrin. In this study, we wanted to examine whether inhibition of the gastrin/CCK2 receptor influences bone quality in these mice. KO and WT mice were given either the gastrin/CCK2 receptor antagonist netazepide dissolved in polyethylene glycol (PEG) or only PEG for 1year. We found significantly lower bone mineral content and BMD, as well as inferior bone microarchitecture in KO mice compared with WT. Biomechanical properties by three-point bending test also proved inferior in KO mice. KO mice receiving netazepide exhibited significantly higher cortical thickness, cortical area fraction, trabecular thickness and trabecular BMD by micro-CT compared with the control group. Three-point bending test also showed higher Young's modulus of elasticity in the netazepide KO group compared with control mice. In conclusion, we observed that the gastrin receptor antagonist netazepide slightly improved bone quality in this mouse model, suggesting that hypergastrinemia may contribute to deteriorated bone quality during acid inhibition. PMID:27325243
Tomim, Dabna H; Pontarolla, Felipe M; Bertolini, Jessica F; Arase, Mauricio; Tobaldini, Glaucia; Lima, Marcelo M S; Fischer, Luana
The mechanisms underlying the pronociceptive effect of paradoxical sleep deprivation (PSD) are not known. In this study, we asked whether PSD increases tonic nociception in the formalin test, decreases the antinociceptive effect of morphine administered into the periaqueductal gray matter (PAG), and disrupts endogenous descending pain modulation. PSD for either 24 or 48 h significantly increased formalin-induced nociception and decreased mechanical nociceptive paw withdrawal threshold. The maximal antinociceptive effect induced by morphine (0.9-9 nmol, intra-PAG) was significantly decreased by PSD. The administration of a low dose of the GABAA receptor antagonist, bicuculline (30-300 pmol, intra-PAG), decreased nociception in control rats, but not in paradoxical-sleep-deprived ones. Furthermore, the administration of the cholecystokinin (CCK) 2 receptor antagonist, YM022 (0.5-2 pmol) in the rostral ventral medulla (RVM), decreased nociception in paradoxical-sleep-deprived rats but not in control ones. While a dose of the CCK 2 receptor agonist, CCK-8 (8-24 pmol intra-RVM), increased nociception in control rats, but not in paradoxical-sleep-deprived ones. In addition, the injection of lidocaine (QX-314, 2%, intra-RVM) decreased nociception in sleep-deprived rats, but not in control rats, while the lesion of the dorsolateral funiculus prevented the pronociceptive effect of PSD. Finally, PSD significantly increased c-Fos expression in the RVM. Therefore, PSD increases pain independently of its duration or of the characteristic of the nociceptive stimulus and decreases morphine analgesia at the PAG. PSD appears to increase pain by decreasing descending pain inhibitory activity and by increasing descending pain facilitatory activity. PMID:25707915
Karson, Miranda A.; Whittington, Kevin C.; Alger, Bradley E.
Cholecystokinin (CCK) is the most abundant neuropeptide in the central nervous system. In the hippocampal CA1 region, CCK is co-localized with GABA in a subset of interneurons that synapse on pyramidal cell somata and apical dendrites. CCK-containing interneurons also uniquely express a high level of the cannabinoid receptor, CB1, and mediate the retrograde signaling process called DSI. Reported effects of CCK on inhibitory post-synaptic potentials (IPSPs) in hippocampus are inconsistent, and include both increases and decreases in activity. Hippocampal interneurons are very heterogeneous, and these results could be reconciled if CCK affected different interneurons in different ways. To test this prediction, we used sharp microelectrode recordings from pyramidal cells with ionotropic glutamate receptors blocked, and investigated the effects of CCK on pharmacologically distinct groups of IPSPs during long-term recordings. We find that CCK, acting via the CCK2 receptor, increases some IPSPs and decreases others, and most significantly, that the affected IPSPs can be classified into two groups by their pharmacological properties. IPSPs that are increased by carbachol (CCh-sIPSPs), are depressed by CCK, ω-conotoxin GVIA, and endocannabinoids. IPSPs that are enhanced by CCK (CCK-sIPSPs) are blocked by ω-agatoxin IVA, and are unaffected by carbachol or endocannabinoids. Interestingly, a CCK2 antagonist enhances CCh-sIPSPs, suggesting normally they may be partially suppressed by endogenous CCK. In summary, our data are compatible with the hypothesis that CCK has opposite actions on sIPSPs that originate from functionally distinct interneurons. PMID:17689570
Dehigaspitiya, Dilani Chathurika
Our focus is on developing non-invasive molecular imaging reagents, which target human cancers that presently are difficult to detect, such as melanoma. We wish to apply the multivalency concept to differentiate between healthy cells and melanoma cells. Melanoma cells are known to over-express alpha melanocyte stimulating hormone receptors. A successful multivalent construct should show greater avidity towards melanoma cells than healthy cells due to the synergistic effects arising from multivalency. Both oligomeric and shorter linear constructs bearing the minimum active sequence of melanocyte stimulating hormone, His-DPhe-Arg-Trp-NH2(MSH4), which binds with low micromolar affinity to alpha melanocyte stimulating hormone receptors, were synthesized. Binding affinities of these constructs were evaluated in a competitive binding assay by competing with labeled ligands, Eu-DTPA-PEGO-MSH7 and/or Eu-DTPA-PEGO-NDP-alpha-MSH on the engineered cell line HEK293 CCK2R/hMC4R, which is genetically modified to over-express both the cholecystokinin 2 receptor (CCK2R) and human melanocortin 4 receptor (hMC4R). The oligomers were rapidly assembled using microwave-assisted copper catalyzed azide-alkyne cycloaddition between a dialkyne derivative of MSH4 and a diazide derivative of (Pro-Gly)3 as co-monomers. Three oligomer mixtures were further analyzed based on their degree of oligomerization and the route by which the MSH4 monomers were oligomerized, protected vs deprotected. Completive binding assay against Eu-DTPA-PEGO-MSH7 showed only a statistical enhancement of binding when calculated based on the total MSH4 concentration. However, when the calculation of avidity is based on an estimation of the particles numbers, there was a seven times enhancement of binding compared to a monovalent MSH4 control. The shorter linear multivalent MSH4 constructs were synthesized using ethylene glycol, glycerol, and mannitol as core scaffolds with maximum inter-ligand distances ranging from 27
Preclinical pharmacokinetics, biodistribution, radiation dosimetry and toxicity studies required for regulatory approval of a phase I clinical trial with 111In-CP04 in medullary thyroid carcinoma patients
Maina, Theodosia; Konijnenberg, Mark W.; KolencPeitl, Petra; Garnuszek, Piotr; Nock, Berthold A.; Kaloudi, Aikaterini; Kroselj, Marko; Zaletel, Katja; Maecke, Helmut; Mansi, Rosalba; Erba, Paola; von Guggenberg, Elisabeth; Hubalewska-Dydejczyk, Alicja; Mikolajczak, Renata; Decristoforo, Clemens
Introduction From a series of radiolabelled cholecystokinin (CCK) and gastrin analogues, 111In-CP04 (111In-DOTA-(DGlu)6-Ala-Tyr-Gly-Trp-Met-Asp-Phe-NH2) was selected for further translation as a diagnostic radiopharmaceutical towards a first-in-man study in patients with medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC). A freeze-dried kit formulation for multicentre application has been developed. We herein report on biosafety, in vivo stability, biodistribution and dosimetry aspects of 111In-CP04 in animal models, essential for the regulatory approval of the clinical trial. Materials and methods Acute and extended single dose toxicity of CP04 was tested in rodents, while the in vivo stability of 111In-CP04 was assessed by HPLC analysis of mouse blood samples. The biodistribution of 111In-CP04 prepared from a freeze-dried kit was studied in SCID mice bearing double A431-CCK2R(±) xenografts at 1, 4 and 24 h pi. Further 4-h animal groups were either additionally treated with the plasma expander gelofusine or injected with 111In-CP04 prepared by wet-labelling. Pharmacokinetics in healthy mice included the 30 min, 1, 4, 24, 48 and 72 h time points pi. Dosimetric calculations were based on extrapolation of mice data to humans adopting two scaling models. Results CP04 was well-tolerated by both mice and rats, with an LD50 > 178.5 μg/kg body weight for mice and a NOAEL (no-observed-adverse-effect-level) of 89 μg/kg body weight for rats. After labelling, 111In-CP04 remained >70% intact in peripheral mouse blood at 5 min pi. The uptake of 111In-CP04 prepared from the freeze-dried kit and by wet-labelling were comparable in the A431-CCK2R(+)-xenografts (9.24 ± 1.35%ID/g and 8.49 ± 0.39%ID/g, respectively; P > 0.05). Gelofusine-treated mice exhibited significantly reduced kidneys values (1.69 ± 0.15%ID/g vs. 5.55 ± 0.94%ID/g in controls, P < 0.001). Dosimetry data revealed very comparable effective tumour doses for the two scaling models applied, of 0.045 and 0.044 m
Kaloudi, Aikaterini; Nock, Berthold A; Lymperis, Emmanouil; Krenning, Eric P; de Jong, Marion; Maina, Theodosia
Minigastrin radiotracers, such as [(111)In-DOTA]MG0 ([(111)In-DOTA-DGlu(1)]minigastrin), have been considered for diagnostic imaging and radionuclide therapy of CCK2R-positive human tumors, such as medullary thyroid carcinoma. However, the high kidney retention assigned to the pentaGlu(2-6) repeat in the peptide sequence has compromised their clinical applicability. On the other hand, truncated des(Glu)(2-6)-analogs, such as [(111)In-DOTA]MG11 ([(111)In-DOTA-DGlu(10),desGlu(2-6)]minigastrin), despite their low renal uptake, show poor bioavailability and tumor targeting. [(111)In]CP04 ([(111)In-DOTA-DGlu(1-6)]minigastrin) acquired by Glu(2-6)/DGlu(2-6) substitution showed promising tumor-to-kidney ratios in rodents. In the present study, we compare the biological profiles of [(111)In]CP04, [(111)In-DOTA]MG11, and [(111)In-DOTA]MG0 during in situ neutral endopeptidase (NEP) inhibition, recently shown to improve the bioavailability of several peptide radiotracers. After coinjection of the NEP inhibitor, phosphoramidon (PA), the stability of [(111)In]CP04 and [(111)In-DOTA]MG0 in peripheral mouse blood increased, with an exceptional >14-fold improvement monitored for [(111)In-DOTA]MG11. In line with these findings, PA treatment increased the uptake of [(111)In]CP04 (8.5 ± 0.4%ID/g to 16.0 ± 2.3%ID/g) and [(111)In-DOTA]MG0 (11.9 ± 2.2%ID/g to 17.2 ± 0.9%ID/g) in A431-CCK2R(+) tumors at 4 hours postinjection, whereas the respective increase for [(111)In-DOTA]MG11 was >6-fold (2.5 ± 0.9%ID/g to 15.1 ± 1.7%ID/g). Interestingly, kidney uptake remained lowest for [(111)In-DOTA]MG11, but unfavorably increased by PA treatment for [(111)In-DOTA]MG0. Thus, overall, the most favorable in vivo profile was displayed by [(111)In-DOTA]MG11 during NEP inhibition, highlighting the need to validate this promising concept in the clinic. PMID:26844849
Furutani, Takahiro; Masumoto, Toshiro; Fukada, Haruhisa
In vertebrates, the peptide cholecystokinin (CCK) is one of the most important neuroregulatory digestive hormones. CCK acts via CCK receptors that are classified into two subtypes, CCK-1 receptor (CCK-1R; formally CCK-A) and CCK-2 receptor (formally CCK-B). In particular, the CCK-1R is involved in digestion and is regulated by CCK. However, very little information is known about CCK-1R in fish. Therefore, we performed molecular cloning of CCK-1R cDNA from the digestive tract of yellowtail Seriola quinqueradiata. Phylogenetic tree analysis showed a high sequence identity between the cloned yellowtail CCK receptor cDNA and CCK-1R, which belongs to the CCK-1R cluster. Furthermore, the expression of yellowtail CCK receptor mRNA was observed in gallbladder, pyloric caeca, and intestines, similarly to CCK-1R mRNA expression in mammals, suggesting that the cloned cDNA is of CCK-1R from yellowtail. In in vivo experiments, the CCK-1R mRNA levels increased in the gallbladder and pyloric caeca after feeding, whereas in vitro, mRNA levels of CCK-1R and digestive enzymes in cultured pyloric caeca increased by the addition of CCK. These results suggest that CCK-1R plays an important role in digestion stimulated by CCK in yellowtail. PMID:23467070
De Silva, Channa R; Vagner, Josef; Lynch, Ronald; Gillies, Robert J; Hruby, Victor J
Lanthanide-based luminescent ligand binding assays are superior to traditional radiolabel assays due to improving sensitivity and affordability in high-throughput screening while eliminating the use of radioactivity. Despite significant progress using lanthanide(III)-coordinated chelators such as diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (DTPA) derivatives, dissociation-enhanced lanthanide fluoroimmunoassays (DELFIAs) have not yet been successfully used with more stable chelators (e.g., tetraazacyclododecyltetraacetic acid [DOTA] derivatives) due to the incomplete release of lanthanide(III) ions from the complex. Here a modified and optimized DELFIA procedure incorporating an acid treatment protocol is introduced for use with Eu(III)-DOTA-labeled peptides. Complete release of Eu(III) ions from DOTA-labeled ligands was observed using hydrochloric acid (2.0M) prior to the luminescent enhancement step. [Nle(4),d-Phe(7)]-alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (NDP-alpha-MSH) labeled with Eu(III)-DOTA was synthesized, and the binding affinity to cells overexpressing the human melanocortin-4 (hMC4) receptor was evaluated using the modified protocol. Binding data indicate that the Eu(III)-DOTA-linked peptide bound to these cells with an affinity similar to its DTPA analogue. The modified DELFIA procedure was further used to monitor the binding of an Eu(III)-DOTA-labeled heterobivalent peptide to the cells expressing both hMC4 and cholecystokinin-2 (CCK-2) receptors. The modified assay provides superior results and is appropriate for high-throughput screening of ligand libraries. PMID:19852924
Bomanji, Jamshed B; Papathanasiou, Nikolaos D
This paper is a critical review of the literature on NET radionuclide therapy with (111)In-DTPA(0)-octreotide (Octreoscan) and (131)I-MIBG, focusing on efficacy and toxicity. Some potential future applications and new candidate therapeutic agents are also mentioned. Octreoscan has been a pioneering agent for somatostatin receptor radionuclide therapy. It has achieved symptomatic responses and disease stabilization, but it is now outperformed by the corresponding β-emitter agents (177)Lu-DOTATATE and (90)Y-DOTATOC. (131)I-MIBG is the radionuclide therapy of choice for inoperable or metastatic phaeochromocytomas/paragangliomas, which avidly concentrate this tracer via the noradrenaline transporter. Symptomatic, biochemical and tumour morphological response rates of 50-89%, 45-74% and 27-47%, respectively, have been reported. (131)I-MIBG is a second-line radiopharmaceutical for treatment of enterochromaffin carcinoids, mainly offering the benefit of amelioration of hormone-induced symptoms. High specific activity, non-carrier-added (131)I-MIBG and meta-astato((211)At)-benzylguanidine (MABG) are tracers with potential for enhanced therapeutic efficacy, yet their integration into clinical practice awaits further exploration. Amongst other promising agents, radiolabelled exendin analogues show potential for imaging and possibly therapy of insulinomas, while preclinical studies are currently evaluating DOTA peptides targeting the CCK-2/gastrin receptors that are overexpressed by medullary thyroid carcinoma cells. PMID:22388626
Roepke, Troy A; Yang, Jennifer A; Yasrebi, Ali; Mamounis, Kyle J; Oruc, Elif; Zama, Aparna Mahakali; Uzumcu, Mehmet
Developmental exposure to endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs) alters reproduction and energy homeostasis, both of which are regulated by the arcuate nucleus (ARC). Little is known about the effects of EDC on ARC gene expression. In Experiment #1, pregnant dams were treated with either two doses of bisphenol A (BPA) or oil from embryonic day (E)18-21. Neonates were injected from postnatal day (PND)0-7. Vaginal opening, body weights, and ARC gene expression were measured. Chrm3 (muscarinic receptor 3) and Adipor1 (adiponectin receptor 1) were decreased by BPA. Bdnf (brain-derived neurotropic factor), Igf1 (insulin-like growth factor 1), Htr2c (5-hydroxytryptamine receptor), and Cck2r (cholescystokinin 2 receptor) were impacted. In Experiment #2, females were exposed to BPA, diethylstilbestrol (DES), di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate, or methoxychlor (MXC) during E11-PND7. MXC and DES advanced the age of vaginal opening and ARC gene expression was impacted. These data indicate that EDCs alter ARC genes involved in reproduction and energy homeostasis in females. PMID:27103539
Marshall, Timothy M.; Herman, David S.; Largent-Milnes, Tally M.; Badghisi, Hamid; Zuber, Konstantina; Holt, Shannon C.; Lai, Josephine; Porreca, Frank; Vanderah, Todd W.
Cholecystokinin (CCK) has been suggested to be both pro-nociceptive and anti-opioid by actions on pain modulatory cells within the RVM. One consequence of activation of RVM CCK2 receptors may be enhanced spinal nociceptive transmission but how this might occur, especially in states of pathological pain is unknown. Here, in vivo microdialysis was used to demonstrate that levels of RVM CCK increased by approximately 2-fold following ligation of L5/L6 spinal nerves (SNL). Microinjection of CCK into the RVM of naïve rats elicited hypersensitivity to tactile stimulation of the hindpaw. Additionally, RVM CCK elicited a time-related increase in PGE2 measured in cerebrospinal fluid from the lumbar spinal cord. The peak increase in spinal PGE2 was approximately 5-fold and was observed at approximately 80-min post-RVM CCK, a time coincident with maximal RVM CCK-induced mechanical hypersensitivity. Spinal administration of naproxen, a non-selective COX-inhibitor, significantly attenuated RVM CCK-induced hindpaw tactile hypersensitivity. RVM-CCK also resulted in a 2-fold increase in spinal 5-HIAA, a 5-HT metabolite, as compared to controls, and mechanical hypersensitivity that was attenuated by spinal application of ondansetron, a 5-HT3 antagonist. The present studies suggest that chronic nerve injury can result in activation of descending facilitatory mechanisms that may promote hyperalgesia via ultimate release of PGE2 and 5-HT in the spinal cord. PMID:22030324
Leung, Sarah J.; Romanowski, Marek
We have developed an experimental system with the potential for the delivery and localized release of an encapsulated agent with high spatial and temporal resolution. We previously introduced liposome-supported plasmon resonant gold nanoshells; in this composite structure, the liposome allows for the encapsulation of substances, such as therapeutic agents, neurotransmitters, or growth factors, and the plasmon resonant structure facilitates the rapid release of encapsulated contents upon laser light illumination. More recently, we demonstrated that these gold-coated liposomes are capable of releasing their contents in a spectrally-controlled manner, where plasmon resonant nanoparticles only release content upon illumination with a wavelength of light matching their plasmon resonance band. We now show that this release mechanism can be used in a biological setting to deliver a peptide derivative of cholecystokinin to HEK293 cells overexpressing the CCK2 receptor. Using directed laser light, we may enable localized release from gold-coated liposomes to enable accurate perturbation of cellular functions in response to released compounds; this system may have possible applications in signaling pathways and drug discovery.
Fuxe, Kjell; Tarakanov, Alexander; Romero Fernandez, Wilber; Ferraro, Luca; Tanganelli, Sergio; Filip, Malgorzata; Agnati, Luigi F; Garriga, Pere; Diaz-Cabiale, Zaida; Borroto-Escuela, Dasiel O
Allosteric receptor-receptor interactions in GPCR heteromers appeared to introduce an intermolecular allosteric mechanism contributing to the diversity and bias in the protomers. Examples of dopamine D2R heteromerization are given to show how such allosteric mechanisms significantly change the receptor protomer repertoire leading to diversity and biased recognition and signaling. In 1980s and 1990s, it was shown that neurotensin (NT) through selective antagonistic NTR-D2 like receptor interactions increased the diversity of DA signaling by reducing D2R-mediated dopamine signaling over D1R-mediated dopamine signaling. Furthermore, D2R protomer appeared to bias the specificity of the NTR orthosteric binding site toward neuromedin N vs. NT in the heteroreceptor complex. Complex CCK2R-D1R-D2R interactions in possible heteroreceptor complexes were also demonstrated further increasing receptor diversity. In D2R-5-HT2AR heteroreceptor complexes, the hallucinogenic 5-HT2AR agonists LSD and DOI were recently found to exert a biased agonist action on the orthosteric site of the 5-HT2AR protomer leading to the development of an active conformational state different from the one produced by 5-HT. Furthermore, as recently demonstrated allosteric A2A-D2R receptor-receptor interaction brought about not only a reduced affinity of the D2R agonist binding site but also a biased modulation of the D2R protomer signaling in A2A-D2R heteroreceptor complexes. A conformational state of the D2R was induced, which moved away from Gi/o signaling and instead favored β-arrestin2-mediated signaling. These examples on allosteric receptor-receptor interactions obtained over several decades serve to illustrate the significant increase in diversity and biased recognition and signaling that develop through such mechanisms. PMID:24860548
Graeff, Frederico Guilherme; Sant'Ana, Ana Beatriz; Vilela-Costa, Heloísa Helena; Zangrossi, Hélio
The dorsal periaqueductal gray (DPAG) has long been implicated in the pathophysiology of anxiety, particularly in panic disorder (PD). Evidence obtained with animal models indicates that different neurotransmitters/neuromodulators in this midbrain area are involved in the regulation of anxiety- (e.g. inhibitory avoidance) and panic- (e.g. escape) associated defensive behaviors. Earlier findings showed that activation of serotonin (5-HT) 1A and 2A receptors in the DPAG inhibits escape expression, a panicolytic-like effect. Recently gathered evidence shows that different classes of antipanic drugs, such as the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressant fluoxetine or the benzodiazepine alprazolam, enhance the inhibitory action of 5-HT upon these receptors. They also show that opioidergic mechanisms, through the activation of μ-receptors, contribute to this process. As with 5-HT, activation of GABAA or GABAB receptors, or cannabinoid type 1receptors as well as the tropomyosin-related kinase B receptors by brain-derived neurotrophic factor in the DPAG also inhibits escape expression. There is evidence that chronic antidepressant treatment, besides facilitating 5-HT/opioid neurotransmission, also increases brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels in this area with an impact on its panicolytic effect. On the other hand, facilitation of corticotrophin releasing factor- or cholecystokinin-mediated neurotransmission in the DPAG, via CRF1 and CCK2 receptors, respectively, causes panicogenic-like effects with implications for the pathogenesis of PD. A better understanding of the neurochemical control of defense in the DPAG may foster the development of new strategies for pharmacological treatment of PD. PMID:26350338
Fuxe, Kjell; Tarakanov, Alexander; Romero Fernandez, Wilber; Ferraro, Luca; Tanganelli, Sergio; Filip, Malgorzata; Agnati, Luigi F.; Garriga, Pere; Diaz-Cabiale, Zaida; Borroto-Escuela, Dasiel O.
Allosteric receptor–receptor interactions in GPCR heteromers appeared to introduce an intermolecular allosteric mechanism contributing to the diversity and bias in the protomers. Examples of dopamine D2R heteromerization are given to show how such allosteric mechanisms significantly change the receptor protomer repertoire leading to diversity and biased recognition and signaling. In 1980s and 1990s, it was shown that neurotensin (NT) through selective antagonistic NTR–D2 like receptor interactions increased the diversity of DA signaling by reducing D2R-mediated dopamine signaling over D1R-mediated dopamine signaling. Furthermore, D2R protomer appeared to bias the specificity of the NTR orthosteric binding site toward neuromedin N vs. NT in the heteroreceptor complex. Complex CCK2R–D1R–D2R interactions in possible heteroreceptor complexes were also demonstrated further increasing receptor diversity. In D2R–5-HT2AR heteroreceptor complexes, the hallucinogenic 5-HT2AR agonists LSD and DOI were recently found to exert a biased agonist action on the orthosteric site of the 5-HT2AR protomer leading to the development of an active conformational state different from the one produced by 5-HT. Furthermore, as recently demonstrated allosteric A2A–D2R receptor–receptor interaction brought about not only a reduced affinity of the D2R agonist binding site but also a biased modulation of the D2R protomer signaling in A2A–D2R heteroreceptor complexes. A conformational state of the D2R was induced, which moved away from Gi/o signaling and instead favored β-arrestin2-mediated signaling. These examples on allosteric receptor–receptor interactions obtained over several decades serve to illustrate the significant increase in diversity and biased recognition and signaling that develop through such mechanisms. PMID:24860548
Crosby, Karen M; Baimoukhametova, Dinara V; Bains, Jaideep S; Pittman, Quentin J
Somatodendritically released peptides alter synaptic function through a variety of mechanisms, including autocrine actions that liberate retrograde transmitters. Cholecystokinin (CCK) is a neuropeptide expressed in neurons in the dorsomedial hypothalamic nucleus (DMH), a region implicated in satiety and stress. There are clear demonstrations that exogenous CCK modulates food intake and neuropeptide expression in the DMH, but there is no information on how endogenous CCK alters synaptic properties. Here, we provide the first report of somatodendritic release of CCK in the brain in male Sprague Dawley rats. CCK is released from DMH neurons in response to repeated postsynaptic depolarizations, and acts in an autocrine fashion on CCK2 receptors to enhance postsynaptic NMDA receptor function and liberate the retrograde transmitter, nitric oxide (NO). NO subsequently acts presynaptically to enhance GABA release through a soluble guanylate cyclase-mediated pathway. These data provide the first demonstration of synaptic actions of somatodendritically released CCK in the hypothalamus and reveal a new form of retrograde plasticity, depolarization-induced potentiation of inhibition. Significance statement: Somatodendritic signaling using endocannabinoids or nitric oxide to alter the efficacy of afferent transmission is well established. Despite early convincing evidence for somatodendritic release of neurohypophysial peptides in the hypothalamus, there is only limited evidence for this mode of release for other peptides. Here, we provide the first evidence for somatodendritic release of the satiety peptide cholecystokinin (CCK) in the brain. We also reveal a new form of synaptic plasticity in which postsynaptic depolarization results in enhancement of inhibition through the somatodendritic release of CCK. PMID:26400945
Selvik, Linn-Karina M.; Rao, Shalini; Steigedal, Tonje S.; Haltbakk, Ildri; Misund, Kristine; Bruland, Torunn; Prestvik, Wenche S.; Lægreid, Astrid; Thommesen, Liv
Salt-inducible kinase 1 (SIK1/Snf1lk) belongs to the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) family of kinases, all of which play major roles in regulating metabolism and cell growth. Recent studies have shown that reduced levels of SIK1 are associated with poor outcome in cancers, and that this involves an invasive cellular phenotype with increased metastatic potential. However, the molecular mechanism(s) regulated by SIK1 in cancer cells is not well explored. The peptide hormone gastrin regulates cellular processes involved in oncogenesis, including proliferation, apoptosis, migration and invasion. The aim of this study was to examine the role of SIK1 in gastrin responsive adenocarcinoma cell lines AR42J, AGS-GR and MKN45. We show that gastrin, known to signal through the Gq/G11-coupled CCK2 receptor, induces SIK1 expression in adenocarcinoma cells, and that transcriptional activation of SIK1 is negatively regulated by the Inducible cAMP early repressor (ICER). We demonstrate that gastrin-mediated signalling induces phosphorylation of Liver Kinase 1B (LKB1) Ser-428 and SIK1 Thr-182. Ectopic expression of SIK1 increases gastrin-induced phosphorylation of histone deacetylase 4 (HDAC4) and enhances gastrin-induced transcription of c-fos and CRE-, SRE-, AP1- and NF-κB-driven luciferase reporter plasmids. We also show that gastrin induces phosphorylation and nuclear export of HDACs. Next we find that siRNA mediated knockdown of SIK1 increases migration of the gastric adenocarcinoma cell line AGS-GR. Evidence provided here demonstrates that SIK1 is regulated by gastrin and influences gastrin elicited signalling in gastric adenocarcinoma cells. The results from the present study are relevant for the understanding of molecular mechanisms involved in gastric adenocarcinomas. PMID:25384047
Balaskó, M; Rostás, I; Füredi, N; Mikó, A; Tenk, J; Cséplő, P; Koncsecskó-Gáspár, M; Soós, S; Székely, M; Pétervári, E
Cholecystokinin (CCK) is anorexic, irrespective whether it is applied intraperitoneally (IP) or intracerebroventricularly (ICV) in male Wistar rats. The metabolic effects depend on the route of administration: by the IP route it elicits hypothermia (presumably by type-1 receptors, CCK1R-s), while ICV administration is followed by fever-like hypermetabolism and hyperthermia via activation of CCK2R-s, which latter response seems to be most important in the postprandial (compensatory) hypermetabolism. The efficacy of the IP injected CCK varies with age: it causes strong anorexia in young adult 4 and 6-months old and again in old rats (aged 18-24 months), but the middle-aged (12-month old) ones seem to be resistant to this effect. Such pattern of effects may contribute to the explanation of age-related obesity observed in middle-aged animals as well as to the aging anorexia and loss of body weight in old ones. Diet-induced obesity accelerates the appearance of CCK-resistance as well as the return of high sensitivity to CCK in further aging, while chronic calorie-restriction prevents the development of resistance, as if the speed of the age-related regulatory changes was altered by the nutritional state. The effects of ICV applied CCK also change with age: the characteristic anorexic and hypermetabolic/hyperthermic effects can be observed in young adult rats, but the effects gradually and monotonically decline with age and disappear by the old age of 24 months. These disparate age-related patterns of CCK efficacy upon peripheral or central administration routes may indicate that although both peripheral and central CCKR-s exert anorexic effects, they may have dissimilar roles in the regulation of overall energy balance. PMID:23876629
Lodge, Daniel J; Lawrence, Andrew J
There is a vast literature examining the neurochemical effects of anxiolytics throughout the rat brain; however, although the behavioural actions of anxiolytic drugs are routinely assessed in animal models of anxiety, the majority of neurochemical studies have been performed in rats with relatively 'normal' behavioural phenotypes. Since there is significant evidence that an anxious phenotype is associated with numerous neurochemical alterations, it is feasible that the central effects of anxiolytics may vary depending on the underlying behavioural state (and corresponding neuropathology) of the experimental animal. For this reason, the aim of the present study was to examine the effect of chronic anxiolytic drug administration on the central CCK and dopamine systems in anxious (isolated from weaning) and nonanxious (group-housed) Fawn-Hooded (FH) rats. It is important to note that these studies were performed in rats with continued access to ethanol, which may affect the responses to anxiolytic treatment. Chronic anxiolytic treatment with the selective CCK-B (CCK(2)) receptor antagonist, Ci-988 (0.3 mg/kg/day ip) or diazepam (2 mg/kg/day ip), induced numerous effects throughout the central nervous system (CNS), with Ci-988 inducing significant changes in the density of dopamine D(2) receptors, and diazepam producing marked changes in both dopamine D(2) and CCK-B receptor binding density as well as preproCCK mRNA expression. Interestingly, the neurochemical effects of these anxiolytic drugs varied significantly depending on the rearing conditions of the rats, demonstrating the importance of using adequate animal models when correlating the behavioural and central effects of drugs acting throughout the CNS. PMID:12691780
Seillier, Alexandre; Martinez, Alex A; Giuffrida, Andrea
The neuronal mechanisms underlying social withdrawal, one of the core negative symptoms of schizophrenia, are not well understood. Recent studies suggest an involvement of the endocannabinoid system in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia and, in particular, of negative symptoms. We used biochemical, pharmacological, and behavioral approaches to investigate the role played by the endocannabinoid system in social withdrawal induced by sub-chronic administration of phencyclidine (PCP). Pharmacological enhancement of endocannabinoid levels via systemic administration of URB597, an inhibitor of endocannabinoid degradation, reversed social withdrawal in PCP-treated rats via stimulation of CB1 receptors, but reduced social interaction in control animals through activation of a cannabinoid/vanilloid-sensitive receptor. In addition, the potent CB agonist CP55,940 reversed PCP-induced social withdrawal in a CB₁-dependent manner, whereas pharmacological blockade of CB₁ receptors by either AM251 or SR141716 reduced the time spent in social interaction in control animals. PCP-induced social withdrawal was accompanied by a decrease of anandamide (AEA) levels in the amygdala and prefrontal cortex, and these deficits were reversed by URB597. As CB₁ receptors are predominantly expressed on GABAergic interneurons containing the anxiogenic peptide cholecystokinin (CCK), we also examined whether the PCP-induced social withdrawal resulted from deficient CB₁-mediated modulation of CCK transmission. The selective CCK2 antagonist LY225910 blocked both PCP- and AM251-induced social withdrawal, but not URB597 effect in control rats. Taken together, these findings indicate that AEA-mediated activation of CB₁ receptors is crucial for social interaction, and that PCP-induced social withdrawal results from deficient endocannabinoid transmission. PMID:23563893
Zhu, Guangjing; Yan, Jianqun; Smith, Wanli W; Moran, Timothy H; Bi, Sheng
A role for dorsomedial hypothalamus (DMH) cholecystokinin (CCK) signaling in feeding control has been proposed. Administration of CCK into the DMH reduces food intake and OLETF rats lacking CCK1 receptors (CCK1R) become hyperphagic and obese. We hypothesized that site specific replenishment of CCK1R in the DMH of OLETF rats would attenuate aspects of their feeding deficits. Recombinant vectors of adeno-associated viral (AAV)-mediated expression of CCK1R (AAVCCK1R) were bilaterally delivered into the DMH of OLETF. OLETF rats with AAVCCK1R injections demonstrated a 65% replenishment of Cck1r mRNA expression in the DMH relative to lean LETO control rats. Although this level of replenishment did not significantly affect overall food intake or body weight through 14 weeks following viral injections, meal patterns were partially normalized in OLETF rats receiving AAVCCK1R with a significant decrease in dark cycle meal size and a small but significant decrease in daily food intake in the meal analysis chambers. Importantly, the elevation in blood glucose level of OLETF rats was attenuated by the AAVCCK1R injections (p=0.03), suggesting a role for DMH CCK signaling in glucose homeostasis. In support of this role, administration of CCK into the DMH of intact rats enhanced glucose tolerance, as this occurred through activation of CCK1R but not CCK2R signaling. In conclusion, partial replenishment of CCK1R in the DMH of OLETF rats, although insufficient for altering overall food intake and body weight, normalizes meal pattern changes and reduces blood glucose levels. Our study also shows a novel role of DMH CCK signaling in glucose homeostasis. PMID:21871472
Rao, Venkataramanarao; Alleti, Ramesh; Xu, Liping; Tafreshi, Narges K.; Morse, David L.; Gillies, Robert J.; Mash, Eugene A.
A spherical molecular scaffold bearing eight terminal alkyne groups was synthesized in one step from sucrose. One or more copies of a tetrapeptide azide, either N3(CH2)5(C=O)-His-dPhe-Arg-Trp-NH2 (MSH4) or N3(CH2)5(C=O)-Trp-Met-Asp-Phe-NH2 (CCK4), were attached to the scaffold via the copper(I)-catalyzed azide-alkyne cycloaddition (CuAAC) reaction. Competitive binding assays using Eu-labeled probes based on the superpotent ligands Ser-Tyr-Ser-Nle-Glu-His-dPhe-Arg-Trp-Gly-Lys-Pro-Val-NH2 (NDP-α-MSH) and Asp-Tyr-Met-Gly-Trp-Met-Asp-Phe-NH2 (CCK8) were used to study the interactions of monovalent and multivalent MSH4 and CCK4 constructs with Hek293 cells engineered to overexpress MC4R and CCK2R. All of the monovalent and multivalent MSH4 constructs exhibited binding comparable to that of the parental ligand, suggesting that either the ligand spacing was inappropriate for multivalent binding, or MSH4 is too weak a binder for a second “anchoring” binding event to occur before the monovalently-bound construct is released from the cell surface. In contrast with this behavior, monovalent CCK4 constructs were significantly less potent than the parental ligand, while multivalent CCK4 constructs were as or more potent than the parental ligand. These results are suggestive of multivalent binding, which may be due to increased residence times for monovalently bound CCK4 constructs on the cell surface relative to MSH4 constructs, the greater residence time being necessary for the establishment of multivalent binding. PMID:21940174
Pawlak, Dariusz; Rangger, Christine; Peitl, Petra Kolenc; Garnuszek, Piotr; Maurin, Michał; Ihli, Laura; Kroselj, Marko; Maina, Theodosia; Maecke, Helmut; Erba, Paola; Kremser, Leopold; Hubalewska-Dydejczyk, Alicja; Mikołajczak, Renata; Decristoforo, Clemens
Introduction A variety of radiolabelled minigastrin analogues targeting the cholecystokinin 2 (CCK2) receptor were developed and compared in a concerted preclinical testing to select the most promising radiotracer for diagnosis and treatment of medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC). DOTA–DGlu–DGlu–DGlu–DGlu–DGlu–DGlu– Ala–Tyr–Gly–Trp–Met–Asp–Phe–NH2 (CP04) after labelling with 111In displayed excellent characteristics, such as high stability, receptor affinity, specific and persistent tumour uptake and low kidney retention in animal models. Therefore, it was selected for further clinical evaluation within the ERA-NET project GRAN-T-MTC. Here we report on the development of a pharmaceutical freeze-dried formulation of the precursor CP04 for a first multi-centre clinical trial with 111In-CP04 in MTC patients. Materials and methods The kit formulation was optimised by adjustment of buffer, additives and radiolabelling conditions. Three clinical grade batches of a final kit formulation with two different amounts of peptide (10 or 50 μg) were prepared and radiolabelled with 111In. Quality control and stability assays of both the kits and the resulting radiolabelled compound were performed by HPLC analysis. Results Use of ascorbic acid buffer (pH 4.5) allowed freeze-drying of the kit formulation with satisfactory pellet-formation. Addition of methionine and gentisic acid as well as careful selection of radiolabelling temperature was required to avoid extensive oxidation of the Met11-residue. Trace metal contamination, in particular Zn, was found to be a major challenge during the pharmaceutical filling process in particular for the 10 μg formulation. The final formulations contained 10 or 50 μg CP04, 25 mg ascorbic acid, 0.5 mg gentisic acid and 5 mg l-methionine. The radiolabelling performed by incubation of 200–250 MBq 111InCl3 at 90 °C for 15 min resulted in reproducible radiochemical purity (RCP) >94%. Kit-stability was proven for >6
Konturek, S J; Konturek, P C; Brzozowski, T; Konturek, J W; Pawlik, W W
Rapid progress in gastroenterological research, during past century, was initiated by the discovery by W. Prout in early 18th century of the presence of inorganic, hydrochloric acid in the stomach and by I.P. Pavlov at the end of 19th century of neuro-reflex stimulation of secretion of this acid that was awarded by Nobel prize in 1904. Then, J. W. Black, who followed L. Popielski's concept of histamine involvement in the stimulation of this secretion, was awarded second Nobel prize in gastrology within the same century for the identification of histamine H2-receptor (H2-R) antagonists, potent gastric acid inhibitors, accelerating ulcer healing. The concept of H2-R interaction with other receptors such as muscarinic receptors (M3-R), mediating the action of acetylocholine released from local cholinergic nerves, and those mediating the action of gastrin (CCK2-R) on parietal cells, has been confirmed both in vivo studies and in vitro isolated parietal cells. The discovery of H2-R antagonists by Black and their usefulness in control of gastric secretion and ulcer healing, were considered as real breakthrough both in elucidation of gastric secretory mechanisms and in ulcer therapy. Discovery of even more powerful gastric acid inhibitors, proton pump inhibitors (PPI), also highly effective in acceleration of ulcer healing was, however, not awarded Nobel prize. Unexpectedly, two Australian clinical researchers, R.J. Warren and B.J. Marshall, who discovered in the stomach spiral bacteria, named Helicobacter pylori, received the third in past century Nobel prize in gastrology for the finding that this bacterium, is related to the pathogenesis of gastritis and peptic ulcer. They documented that eradication of H. pylori from the stomach, using antibiotics and potent gastric inhibitors, not only accelerates healing of ulcer but also prevents its recurrence, the finding considered as greatest discovery in practical gastrology during last century. Thus, the outstanding
Background Physiology of the exocrine pancreas has been well studied in domestic and in laboratory animals as well as in humans. However, it remains quite unknown in wildlife mammals. Roe deer and cattle (including calf) belong to different families but have a common ancestor. This work aimed to evaluate in the Roe deer, the adaptation to diet of the exocrine pancreatic functions and regulations related to animal evolution and domestication. Results Forty bovine were distributed into 2 groups of animals either fed exclusively with a milk formula (monogastric) or fed a dry feed which allowed for rumen function to develop, they were slaughtered at 150 days of age. The 35 Roe deer were wild animals living in the temperate broadleaf and mixed forests, shot during the hunting season and classified in two groups adult and young. Immediately after death, the pancreas was removed for tissue sample collection and then analyzed. When expressed in relation to body weight, pancreas, pancreatic protein weights and enzyme activities measured were higher in Roe deer than in calf. The 1st original feature is that in Roe deer, the very high content in pancreatic enzymes seems to be related to specific digestive products observed (proline-rich proteins largely secreted in saliva) which bind tannins, reducing their deleterious effects on protein digestion. The high chymotrypsin and elastase II quantities could allow recycling of proline-rich proteins. In contrast, domestication and rearing cattle resulted in simplified diet with well digestible components. The 2nd feature is that in wild animal, both receptor subtypes of the CCK/gastrin family peptides were present in the pancreas as in calf, although CCK-2 receptor subtype was previously identified in higher mammals. Conclusions Bovine species could have lost some digestive capabilities (no ingestion of great amounts of tannin-rich plants, capabilities to secrete high amounts of proline-rich proteins) compared with Roe deer
Alleti, Ramesh; Vagner, Josef; Dehigaspitiya, Dilani Chathurika; Moberg, Valerie E.; Elshan, N. G. R. D.; Tafreshi, Narges K.; Brabez, Nabila; Weber, Craig S.; Lynch, Ronald M.; Hruby, Victor J.; Gillies, Robert J.; Morse, David L.; Mash, Eugene A.
Probes for use in time-resolved fluorescence competitive binding assays at melanocortin receptors based on the parental ligands MSH(4), MSH(7), and NDP-α-MSH were prepared by solid phase synthesis methods, purified, and characterized. The saturation binding of these probes was studied using HEK-293 cells engineered to overexpress the human melanocortin 4 receptor (hMC4R) as well as the human cholecystokinin 2 receptor (hCCK2R). The ratios of non-specific binding to total binding approached unity at high concentrations for each probe. At low probe concentrations, receptor-mediated binding and uptake was discernable, and so probe concentrations were kept as low as possible in determining Kd values. The Eu-DTPA-PEGO-MSH(4) probe exhibited low specific binding relative to non-specific binding, even at low nanomolar concentrations, and was deemed unsuitable for use in competition binding assays. The Eu-DTPA-PEGO probes based on MSH(7) and NDP-α-MSH exhibited Kd values of 27±3.9 nM and 4.2±0.48 nM, respectively, for binding with hMC4R. These probes were employed in competitive binding assays to characterize the interactions of hMC4R with monovalent and divalent MSH(4), MSH(7), and NDP-α-MSH constructs derived from squalene. Results from assays with both probes reflected only statistical enhancements, suggesting improper ligand spacing on the squalene scaffold for the divalent constructs. The Ki values from competitive binding assays that employed the MSH(7)-based probe were generally lower than the Ki values obtained when the probe based on NDP-α-MSH was employed, which is consistent with the greater potency of the latter probe. The probe based on MSH(7) was also competed with monovalent, divalent, and trivalent MSH(4) constructs that previously demonstrated multivalent binding in competitive binding assays against a variant of the probe based on NDP-α-MSH. Results from these assays confirm multivalent binding, but suggest a more modest increase in avidity for