Different binding epitopes on the NK1 receptor for substance P and a non-peptide antagonist

Abstract

NON-PEPTIDE ligands for peptide receptors have been discovered in several systems through file screening programs1–6, but the mechanism of action for these candidate drugs is obscure as they do not chemically resemble the native peptides. The compound CP 96345 is a high-affinity, non-peptide antagonist of the substance P (NK1) receptor4,5,7, which is important in pain perception and neurogenic inflammation8–11. Here we identify epitopes on the NK1, receptor responsible for the specific binding of CP 96345 by systematic exchange of corresponding segments between the NK1, receptor and the homologous NK3 (neurokinin B) receptor, which does not bind the non-peptide ligand. Non-conserved residues, in two epitopes around the top of transmembrane segment V and in one epitope at the top of transmembrane segment VI, are essential for the specific action of CP 96345 on the NK1, receptor, but are surprisingly not important for the binding of the natural peptide ligand, substance P. Susceptibility to the non-peptide antagonists can be conveyed to the previously unresponsive NK3 receptor by mutational transfer of this discontinuous epitope from the NK1, receptor.

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Gether, U., Johansen, T., Snider, R. et al. Different binding epitopes on the NK1 receptor for substance P and a non-peptide antagonist. Nature 362, 345–348 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1038/362345a0

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