Divergent pharmacological activity of novel marine-derived excitatory amino acids on glutamate receptors

James M. Sanders, Koichi Ito, Luca Settimo, Olli T. Pentikäinen, Muneo Shoji, Makoto Sasaki, Mark S. Johnson, Ryuichi Sakai, Geoffrey T. Swanson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


Kainate receptors show a particular affinity for a variety of natural source compounds, including dysiherbaine (DH), a potent agonist derived from the marine sponge Dysidea herbacea. In this study, we characterized the pharmacological activity and structural basis for subunit selectivity of neodysiherbaine (neoDH) and MSVIII-19, which are natural and synthetic analogs of DH, respectively. NeoDH and MSVIII-19 differ from DH in the composition of two functional groups that confer specificity and selectivity for ionotropic glutamate receptors. In radioligand binding assays, neoDH displayed a 15- to 25-fold lower affinity relative to that of DH for glutamate receptor (GluR)5 and GluR6 kainate receptor subunits but a 7-fold higher affinity for kainate (KA)2 subunits, whereas MSVIII-19 displaced [3H]kainate only from GluR5 subunits but not GluR6 or KA2 subunits. NeoDH was an agonist for kainate and α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptors in patch-clamp recordings; in contrast, MSVIII-19 acted as a potent antagonist for homomeric GluR5 receptor currents with weaker activity on other kainate and AMPA receptors. Neither neoDH nor MSVIII-19 activated group I metabotropic GluRs. Homology modeling suggests that two critical amino acids confer the high degree of selectivity between the dysiherbaine analogs and the GluR5 and KA2 subunits. In summary, these data describe the pharmacological activity of two new compounds, one of which is a selective GluR5 receptor antagonist that will be of use for understanding native receptor function and designing more selective ligands for kainate receptors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1068-1078
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Sept


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