In JoVE (1)

Other Publications (16)

Articles by Brandon J. Henderson in JoVE

Other articles by Brandon J. Henderson on PubMed

Effect of Novel Negative Allosteric Modulators of Neuronal Nicotinic Receptors on Cells Expressing Native and Recombinant Nicotinic Receptors: Implications for Drug Discovery

The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. Feb, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 18984653

Allosteric modulation of nAChRs is considered to be one of the most promising approaches for drug design targeting nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). We have reported previously on the pharmacological activity of several compounds that seem to act noncompetitively to inhibit the activation of alpha3beta4(*) nAChRs. In this study, the effects of 51 structurally similar molecules on native and recombinant alpha3beta4 nAChRs are characterized. These 51 molecules inhibited adrenal neurosecretion activated via stimulation of native alpha3beta4(*) nAChR, with IC(50) values ranging from 0.4 to 13.0 microM. Using cells expressing recombinant alpha3beta4 nAChRs, these molecules inhibited calcium accumulation (a more direct assay to establish nAChR activity), with IC(50) values ranging from 0.7 to 38.2 microM. Radiolabeled nAChR binding studies to orthosteric sites showed no inhibitory activity on either native or recombinant nAChRs. Correlation analyses of the data from both functional assays suggested additional, non-nAChR activity of the molecules. To test this hypothesis, the effects of the drugs on neurosecretion stimulated through non-nAChR mechanisms were investigated; inhibitory effects ranged from no inhibition to 95% inhibition at concentrations of 10 microM. Correlation analyses of the functional data confirmed this hypothesis. Several of the molecules (24/51) increased agonist binding to native nAChRs, supporting allosteric interactions with nAChRs. Computational modeling and blind docking identified a binding site for our negative allosteric modulators near the orthosteric binding site of the receptor. In summary, this study identified several molecules for potential development as negative allosteric modulators and documented the importance of multiple screening assays for nAChR drug discovery.

Negative Allosteric Modulators That Target Human Alpha4beta2 Neuronal Nicotinic Receptors

The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. Sep, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20551292

Allosteric modulation of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) is considered to be one of the most promising approaches for therapeutics. We have previously reported on the pharmacological activity of several compounds that act as negative allosteric modulators (NAMs) of nAChRs. In the following studies, the effects of 30 NAMs from our small chemical library on both human alpha4beta2 (Halpha4beta2) and human alpha3beta4 (Halpha3beta4) nAChRs expressed in human embryonic kidney ts201 cells were investigated. During calcium accumulation assays, these NAMs inhibited nAChR activation with IC(50) values ranging from 2.4 microM to more than 100 microM. Several NAMs showed relative selectivity for Halpha4beta2 nAChRs with IC(50) values in the low micromolar range. A lead molecule, KAB-18, was identified that shows relative selectivity for Halpha4beta2 nAChRs. This molecule contains three phenyl rings, one piperidine ring, and one ester bond linkage. Structure-activity relationship (SAR) analyses of our data revealed three regions of KAB-18 that contribute to its relative selectivity. Predictive three-dimensional quantitative SAR (comparative molecular field analysis and comparative molecular similarity indices analysis) models were generated from these data, and a pharmacophore model was constructed to determine the chemical features that are important for biological activity. Using docking approaches and molecular dynamics on a Halpha4beta2 nAChR homology model, a binding mode for KAB-18 at the alpha/beta subunit interface that corresponds to the predicted pharmacophore is described. This binding mode was supported by mutagenesis studies. In summary, these studies highlight the importance of SAR, computational, and molecular biology approaches for the design and synthesis of potent and selective antagonists targeting specific nAChR subtypes.

Identification of a Negative Allosteric Site on Human α4β2 and α3β4 Neuronal Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors

PloS One. 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21949802

Acetylcholine-based neurotransmission is regulated by cationic, ligand-gated ion channels called nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). These receptors have been linked to numerous neurological diseases and disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and nicotine addiction. Recently, a class of compounds has been discovered that antagonize nAChR function in an allosteric fashion. Models of human α4β2 and α3β4 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) extracellular domains have been developed to computationally explore the binding of these compounds, including the dynamics and free energy changes associated with ligand binding. Through a blind docking study to multiple receptor conformations, the models were used to determine a putative binding mode for the negative allosteric modulators. This mode, in close proximity to the agonist binding site, is presented in addition to a hypothetical mode of antagonism that involves obstruction of C loop closure. Molecular dynamics simulations and MM-PBSA free energy of binding calculations were used as computational validation of the predicted binding mode, while functional assays on wild-type and mutated receptors provided experimental support. Based on the proposed binding mode, two residues on the β2 subunit were independently mutated to the corresponding residues found on the β4 subunit. The T58K mutation resulted in an eight-fold decrease in the potency of KAB-18, a compound that exhibits preferential antagonism for human α4β2 over α3β4 nAChRs, while the F118L mutation resulted in a loss of inhibitory activity for KAB-18 at concentrations up to 100 µM. These results demonstrate the selectivity of KAB-18 for human α4β2 nAChRs and validate the methods used for identifying the nAChR modulator binding site. Exploitation of this site may lead to the development of more potent and subtype-selective nAChR antagonists which may be used in the treatment of a number of neurological diseases and disorders.

Structure-activity Relationship Studies of Sulfonylpiperazine Analogues As Novel Negative Allosteric Modulators of Human Neuronal Nicotinic Receptors

Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. Dec, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 22060139

Neuronal nicotinic receptors have been implicated in several diseases and disorders such as autism, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, epilepsy, and various forms of addiction. To understand the role of nicotinic receptors in these conditions, it would be beneficial to have selective molecules that target specific nicotinic receptors in vitro and in vivo. Our laboratory has previously identified novel negative allosteric modulators of human α4β2 (Hα4β2) and human α3β4 (Hα3β4) nicotinic receptors. The effects of novel sulfonylpiperazine analogues that act as negative allosteric modulators on both Hα4β2 nAChRs and Hα3β4 nAChRs were investigated. This work, through structure-activity relationship (SAR) studies, describes the chemical features of these molecules that are important for both potency and selectivity on Hα4β2 nAChRs.

Discovery of Novel α4β2 Neuronal Nicotinic Receptor Modulators Through Structure-Based Virtual Screening

ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters. Nov, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 24936233

We performed a hierarchical structure-based virtual screening utilizing a comparative model of the human α4β2 neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) extracellular domain. Compounds were selected for experimental testing based on structural diversity, binding pocket location, and standard error of the free energy scoring function used in the screening. Four of the eleven in silico hit compounds showed promising activity with low micromolar IC50 values in a calcium accumulation assay. Two of the antagonists were also proven to be selective for human α4β2 vs human α3β4 nAChRs. This is the first report of successful discovery of novel nAChR antagonists through the use of structure-based virtual screening with a human nAChR homology model. These compounds may serve as potential novel scaffolds for further development of selective nAChR antagonists.

3D-QSAR and 3D-QSSR Models of Negative Allosteric Modulators Facilitate the Design of a Novel Selective Antagonist of Human α4β2 Neuronal Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors

Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters. Feb, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22285942

Subtype selective molecules for α4β2 neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) have been sought as novel therapeutics for nicotine cessation. α4β2 nAChRs have been shown to be involved in mediating the addictive properties of nicotine while other subtypes (i.e., α3β4 and α7) are believed to mediate the undesired effects of potential CNS drugs. To obtain selective molecules, it is important to understand the physiochemical features of ligands that affect selectivity and potency on nAChR subtypes. Here we present novel QSAR/QSSR models for negative allosteric modulators of human α4β2 nAChRs and human α3β4 nAChRs. These models support previous homology model and site-directed mutagenesis studies that suggest a novel mechanism of antagonism. Additionally, information from the models presented in this work was used to synthesize novel molecules; which subsequently led to the discovery of a new selective antagonist of human α4β2 nAChRs.

Defining the Putative Inhibitory Site for a Selective Negative Allosteric Modulator of Human α4β2 Neuronal Nicotinic Receptors

ACS Chemical Neuroscience. Sep, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 23019495

Neuronal nicotinic receptors (nAChRs) have been implicated in several diseases and disorders such as autism spectrum disorders, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, epilepsy, and nicotine addiction. To understand the role of nAChRs in these conditions, it would be beneficial to have selective molecules that target specific nAChRs in vitro and in vivo. Our laboratory has previously identified a novel allosteric site on human α4β2 nAChRs using a series of computational and in vitro approaches. At this site, we have identified negative allosteric modulators that selectively inhibit human α4β2 nAChRs, a subtype implicated in nicotine addiction. This study characterizes the allosteric site via site-directed mutagenesis. Three amino acids (Phe118, Glu60, and Thr58) on the β2 subunit were shown to participate in the inhibitory properties of the selective antagonist KAB-18 and provided insights into its antagonism of human α4β2 nAChRs. SAR studies with KAB-18 analogues and various mutant α4β2 nAChRs also provided information concerning how different physiochemical features influence the inhibition of nAChRs through this allosteric site. Together, these studies identify the amino acids that contribute to the selective antagonism of human α4β2 nAChRs at this allosteric site. Finally, these studies define the physiochemical features of ligands that influence interaction with specific amino acids in this allosteric site.

Discovery of Benzamide Analogs As Negative Allosteric Modulators of Human Neuronal Nicotinic Receptors: Pharmacophore Modeling and Structure-activity Relationship Studies

Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry. Aug, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23757208

The present study describes our ongoing efforts toward the discovery of drugs that selectively target nAChR subtypes. We exploited knowledge on nAChR ligands and their binding site that were previously identified by our laboratory through virtual screenings and identified benzamide analogs as a novel chemical class of neuronal nicotinic receptor (nAChR) ligands. The lead molecule, compound 1 (4-(allyloxy)-N-(6-methylpyridin-2-yl)benzamide) inhibits nAChR activity with an IC₅₀ value of 6.0 (3.4-10.6) μM on human α4β2 nAChRs with a ∼5-fold preference against human α3β4 nAChRs. Twenty-six analogs of compound 1 were also either synthesized or purchased for structure-activity relationship (SAR) studies and provided information relating the chemical/structural properties of the molecules to their ability to inhibit nAChR activity. The discovery of subtype-selective ligands of nAChRs described here should contribute significantly to our understanding of the involvement of specific nAChR subtypes in normal and pathophysiological states.

Nicotine Exploits a COPI-mediated Process for Chaperone-mediated Up-regulation of Its Receptors

The Journal of General Physiology. Jan, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24378908

Chronic exposure to nicotine up-regulates high sensitivity nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in the brain. This up-regulation partially underlies addiction and may also contribute to protection against Parkinson's disease. nAChRs containing the α6 subunit (α6* nAChRs) are expressed in neurons in several brain regions, but comparatively little is known about the effect of chronic nicotine on these nAChRs. We report here that nicotine up-regulates α6* nAChRs in several mouse brain regions (substantia nigra pars compacta, ventral tegmental area, medial habenula, and superior colliculus) and in neuroblastoma 2a cells. We present evidence that a coat protein complex I (COPI)-mediated process mediates this up-regulation of α6* or α4* nAChRs but does not participate in basal trafficking. We show that α6β2β3 nAChR up-regulation is prevented by mutating a putative COPI-binding motif in the β3 subunit or by inhibiting COPI. Similarly, a COPI-dependent process is required for up-regulation of α4β2 nAChRs by chronic nicotine but not for basal trafficking. Mutation of the putative COPI-binding motif or inhibition of COPI also results in reduced normalized Förster resonance energy transfer between α6β2β3 nAChRs and εCOP subunits. The discovery that nicotine exploits a COPI-dependent process to chaperone high sensitivity nAChRs is novel and suggests that this may be a common mechanism in the up-regulation of nAChRs in response to chronic nicotine.

Pharmacological Chaperoning of NAChRs: a Therapeutic Target for Parkinson's Disease

Pharmacological Research. May, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24593907

Chronic exposure to nicotine results in an upregulation of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) at the cellular plasma membrane. nAChR upregulation occurs via nicotine-mediated pharmacological receptor chaperoning and is thought to contribute to the addictive properties of tobacco as well as relapse following smoking cessation. At the subcellular level, pharmacological chaperoning by nicotine and nicotinic ligands causes profound changes in the structure and function of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), ER exit sites, the Golgi apparatus and secretory vesicles of cells. Chaperoning-induced changes in cell physiology exert an overall inhibitory effect on the ER stress/unfolded protein response. Cell autonomous factors such as the repertoire of nAChR subtypes expressed by neurons and the pharmacological properties of nicotinic ligands (full or partial agonist versus competitive antagonist) govern the efficiency of receptor chaperoning and upregulation. Together, these findings are beginning to pave the way for developing pharmacological chaperones to treat Parkinson's disease and nicotine addiction.

Lynx1 Shifts α4β2 Nicotinic Receptor Subunit Stoichiometry by Affecting Assembly in the Endoplasmic Reticulum

The Journal of Biological Chemistry. Nov, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 25193667

Glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored neurotoxin-like receptor binding proteins, such as lynx modulators, are topologically positioned to exert pharmacological effects by binding to the extracellular portion of nAChRs. These actions are generally thought to proceed when both lynx and the nAChRs are on the plasma membrane. Here, we demonstrate that lynx1 also exerts effects on α4β2 nAChRs within the endoplasmic reticulum. Lynx1 affects assembly of nascent α4 and β2 subunits and alters the stoichiometry of the receptor population that reaches the plasma membrane. Additionally, these data suggest that lynx1 shifts nAChR stoichiometry to low sensitivity (α4)3(β2)2 pentamers primarily through this interaction in the endoplasmic reticulum, rather than solely via direct modulation of activity on the plasma membrane. To our knowledge, these data represent the first test of the hypothesis that a lynx family member, or indeed any glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored protein, could act within the cell to alter assembly of a multisubunit protein.

Inside-out Neuropharmacology of Nicotinic Drugs

Neuropharmacology. Sep, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 25660637

Upregulation of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) is a venerable result of chronic exposure to nicotine; but it is one of several consequences of pharmacological chaperoning by nicotine and by some other nicotinic ligands, especially agonists. Nicotinic ligands permeate through cell membranes, bind to immature AChR oligomers, elicit incompletely understood conformational reorganizations, increase the interaction between adjacent AChR subunits, and enhance the maturation process toward stable AChR pentamers. These changes and stabilizations in turn lead to increases in both anterograde and retrograde traffic within the early secretory pathway. In addition to the eventual upregulation of AChRs at the plasma membrane, other effects of pharmacological chaperoning include modifications to endoplasmic reticulum stress and to the unfolded protein response. Because these processes depend on pharmacological chaperoning within intracellular organelles, we group them as "inside-out pharmacology". This term contrasts with the better-known, acute, "outside-in" effects of activating and desensitizing plasma membrane AChRs. We review current knowledge concerning the mechanisms and consequences of inside-out pharmacology. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'The Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor: From Molecular Biology to Cognition'.

Nicotinic Receptor Subtype-selective Circuit Patterns in the Subthalamic Nucleus

The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience. Mar, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 25740504

The glutamatergic subthalamic nucleus (STN) exerts control over motor output through nuclei of the basal ganglia. High-frequency electrical stimuli in the STN effectively alleviate motor symptoms in movement disorders, and cholinergic stimulation boosts this effect. To gain knowledge about the mechanisms of cholinergic modulation in the STN, we studied cellular and circuit aspects of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in mouse STN. We discovered two largely divergent microcircuits in the STN; these are regulated in part by either α4β2 or α7 nAChRs. STN neurons containing α4β2 nAChRs (α4β2 neurons) received more glutamatergic inputs, and preferentially innervated GABAergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars reticulata. In contrast, STN neurons containing α7 nAChRs (α7 neurons) received more GABAergic inputs, and preferentially innervated dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta. Interestingly, local electrical stimuli excited a majority (79%) of α4β2 neurons but exerted strong inhibition in 58% of α7 neurons, indicating an additional diversity of STN neurons: responses to electrical stimulation. Chronic exposure to nicotine selectively affects α4β2 nAChRs in STN: this treatment increased the number of α4β2 neurons, upregulated α4-containing nAChR number and sensitivity, and enhanced the basal firing rate of α4β2 neurons both ex vivo and in vivo. Thus, chronic nicotine enhances the function of the microcircuit involving α4β2 nAChRs. This indicates chronic exposure to nicotinic agonist as a potential pharmacological intervention to alter selectively the balance between these two microcircuits, and may provide a means to inhibit substantia nigra dopaminergic neurons.

Smoking-Relevant Nicotine Concentration Attenuates the Unfolded Protein Response in Dopaminergic Neurons

The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience. Jan, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 26740650

Retrospective epidemiological studies show an inverse correlation between susceptibility to Parkinson's disease and a person's history of tobacco use. Animal model studies suggest nicotine as a neuroprotective agent and nicotinic acetylcholine (ACh) receptors (nAChRs) as targets for neuroprotection, but the underlying neuroprotective mechanism(s) are unknown. We cultured mouse ventral midbrain neurons for 3 weeks. Ten to 20% of neurons were dopaminergic (DA), revealed by tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) immunoreactivity. We evoked mild endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress with tunicamycin (Tu), producing modest increases in the level of nuclear ATF6, phosphorylated eukaryotic initiation factor 2α, nuclear XBP1, and the downstream proapoptotic effector nuclear C/EBP homologous protein. We incubated cultures for 2 weeks with 200 nm nicotine, the approximate steady-state concentration between cigarette smoking or vaping, or during nicotine patch use. Nicotine incubation suppressed Tu-induced ER stress and the unfolded protein response (UPR). Study of mice with fluorescent nAChR subunits showed that the cultured TH+ neurons displayed α4, α6, and β3 nAChR subunit expression and ACh-evoked currents. Gene expression profile in cultures from TH-eGFP mice showed that the TH+ neurons also express several other genes associated with DA release. Nicotine also upregulated ACh-induced currents in DA neurons by ∼2.5-fold. Thus, nicotine, at a concentration too low to activate an appreciable fraction of plasma membrane nAChRs, induces two sequelae of pharmacological chaperoning in the ER: UPR suppression and nAChR upregulation. Therefore, one mechanism of neuroprotection by nicotine is pharmacological chaperoning, leading to UPR suppression. Measuring this pathway may help in assessing neuroprotection.

Menthol Alone Upregulates Midbrain NAChRs, Alters NAChR Subtype Stoichiometry, Alters Dopamine Neuron Firing Frequency, and Prevents Nicotine Reward

The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience. Mar, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 26961950

Upregulation of β2 subunit-containing (β2*) nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) is implicated in several aspects of nicotine addiction, and menthol cigarette smokers tend to upregulate β2* nAChRs more than nonmenthol cigarette smokers. We investigated the effect of long-term menthol alone on midbrain neurons containing nAChRs. In midbrain dopaminergic (DA) neurons from mice containing fluorescent nAChR subunits, menthol alone increased the number of α4 and α6 nAChR subunits, but this upregulation did not occur in midbrain GABAergic neurons. Thus, chronic menthol produces a cell-type-selective upregulation of α4* nAChRs, complementing that of chronic nicotine alone, which upregulates α4 subunit-containing (α4*) nAChRs in GABAergic but not DA neurons. In mouse brain slices and cultured midbrain neurons, menthol reduced DA neuron firing frequency and altered DA neuron excitability following nAChR activation. Furthermore, menthol exposure before nicotine abolished nicotine reward-related behavior in mice. In neuroblastoma cells transfected with fluorescent nAChR subunits, exposure to 500 nm menthol alone also increased nAChR number and favored the formation of (α4)3(β2)2 nAChRs; this contrasts with the action of nicotine itself, which favors (α4)2(β2)3 nAChRs. Menthol alone also increases the number of α6β2 receptors that exclude the β3 subunit. Thus, menthol stabilizes lower-sensitivity α4* and α6 subunit-containing nAChRs, possibly by acting as a chemical chaperone. The abolition of nicotine reward-related behavior may be mediated through menthol's ability to stabilize lower-sensitivity nAChRs and alter DA neuron excitability. We conclude that menthol is more than a tobacco flavorant: administered alone chronically, it alters midbrain DA neurons of the nicotine reward-related pathway.

Mutation Linked to Autosomal Dominant Nocturnal Frontal Lobe Epilepsy Reduces Low-Sensitivity α4β2, and Increases α5α4β2, Nicotinic Receptor Surface Expression

PloS One. 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27336596

A number of mutations in α4β2-containing (α4β2*) nicotinic acetylcholine (ACh) receptors (nAChRs) are linked to autosomal dominant nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy (ADNFLE), including one in the β2 subunit called β2V287L. Two α4β2* subtypes with different subunit stoichiometries and ACh sensitivities co-exist in the brain, a high-sensitivity subtype with (α4)2(β2)3 subunit stoichiometry and a low-sensitivity subtype with (α4)3(β2)2 stoichiometry. The α5 nicotinic subunit also co-assembles with α4β2 to form a high-sensitivity α5α4β2 nAChR. Previous studies suggest that the β2V287L mutation suppresses low-sensitivity α4β2* nAChR expression in a knock-in mouse model and also that α5 co-expression improves the surface expression of ADNFLE mutant nAChRs in a cell line. To test these hypotheses further, we expressed mutant and wild-type (WT) nAChRs in oocytes and mammalian cell lines, and measured the effects of the β2V287L mutation on surface receptor expression and the ACh response using electrophysiology, a voltage-sensitive fluorescent dye, and superecliptic pHluorin (SEP). The β2V287L mutation reduced the EC50 values of high- and low-sensitivity α4β2 nAChRs expressed in Xenopus oocytes for ACh by a similar factor and suppressed low-sensitivity α4β2 expression. In contrast, it did not affect the EC50 of α5α4β2 nAChRs for ACh. Measurements of the ACh responses of WT and mutant nAChRs expressed in mammalian cell lines using a voltage-sensitive fluorescent dye and whole-cell patch-clamping confirm the oocyte data. They also show that, despite reducing the maximum response, β2V287L increased the α4β2 response to a sub-saturating ACh concentration (1 μM). Finally, imaging SEP-tagged α5, α4, β2, and β2V287L subunits showed that β2V287L reduced total α4β2 nAChR surface expression, increased the number of β2 subunits per α4β2 receptor, and increased surface α5α4β2 nAChR expression. Thus, the β2V287L mutation alters the subunit composition and sensitivity of α4β2 nAChRs, and increases α5α4β2 surface expression.

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