Discovery of GPR183 Agonists Based on an Antagonist Scaffold

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The G protein-coupled receptor GPR183/EBI2, which is activated by oxysterols, is a therapeutic target for inflammatory and metabolic diseases where both antagonists and agonists are of potential interest. Using the piperazine diamide core of the known GPR183 antagonist (E)-3-(4-bromophenyl)-1-(4-(4-methoxybenzoyl)piperazin-1-yl)prop-2-en-1-one (NIBR189) as starting point, we identified and sourced 79 structurally related compounds that were commercially available. In vitro screening of this compound collection using a Ca2+ mobilization assay resulted in the identification of 10 compounds with agonist properties. To enable establishment of initial structure-activity relationship trends, these were supplemented with five in-house compounds, two of which were also shown to be GPR183 agonists. Taken together, our findings suggest that the agonist activity of this compound series is dictated by the substitution pattern of one of the two distal phenyl rings, which functions as a molecular efficacy-switch.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number17
Pages (from-to)2623-2627
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors. ChemMedChem published by Wiley-VCH GmbH

    Research areas

  • agonists, antagonists, drug discovery, GPR183, receptors

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