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Title: An investigation of the molecular pharmacology of G protein-coupled receptor 35
Author: Mackenzie, Amanda Elaine
ISNI:       0000 0004 5917 1832
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2015
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G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are seven-pass integral membrane proteins that act as transducers of extracellular signals across the lipid bilayer. Their location and involvement in basic and pathological physiological processes has secured their role as key targets for pharmaceutical intervention. GPCRs are targeted by many of the best-selling drugs on the market and there are a substantial number of GPCRs that are yet to be characterised; these could offer interest for therapeutic targeting. GPR35 is one such receptor that, as a result of gene knockout and genome wide association studies, has attracted interest through its association with cardiovascular and gastrointestinal disease. Elucidation of the basic physiological function of GPR35 has, however, been difficult due a paucity of potent and selective ligands in addition to a lack of consensus on the endogenous ligand. Herein, a focussed drug discovery effort was carried out to identify agonists of GPR35. Various in vitro cellular assays were employed in conjunction with N- or C-terminally manipulated forms of the receptor to investigate GPR35’s signalling profile and to provide an assay format suitable for the characterisation of newly identified ligands. Although GPR35 associates with both Gαi/o and Gα13 families of small heterotrimeric G proteins, the G protein-independent β-arrestin-2 recruitment format was found to be the most suited to drug screening efforts. Small molecule compound screening, carried out in conjunction with the Medical Research Council Technology, identified compound 1 as the most potent ligand of human GPR35 reported at that time. However, the lower efficacy and potency of compound 1 at the rodent species orthologues of GPR35 prevented its use in in vivo studies. A subsequent effort, carried out with Novartis, focused on mast cell stabilisers as putative agonists of GPR35, revealed lodoxamide and bufrolin as highly potent agonists that activated human and rat GPR35 with equal potency. This finding offered–for the first time–the opportunity to employ the same GPR35 ligand between species at a similar concentration, an important factor to consider when translating rodent in vivo functional studies to those in man. Additionally, using molecular modelling and site directed mutagenesis studies, these newly identified compounds were used to aid characterisation of the ligand binding pockets of human and rat GPR35 to reveal the molecular basis of species selectivity at this receptor. In summary, this research effort presents GPR35 tool compounds that can now be used to dissect the basic biology of GPR35 and investigate its contribution to disease.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Q Science (General) ; RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology