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Exploration of TRPM8 Binding Sites by β‑Carboline-Based Antagonists and Their In Vitro Characterization and In Vivo Analgesic Activities

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posted on 18.08.2020, 10:04 by Alessia Bertamino, Carmine Ostacolo, Alicia Medina, Veronica Di Sarno, Gianluigi Lauro, Tania Ciaglia, Vincenzo Vestuto, Giacomo Pepe, Manuela Giovanna Basilicata, Simona Musella, Gerardina Smaldone, Claudia Cristiano, Sara Gonzalez-Rodriguez, Asia Fernandez-Carvajal, Giuseppe Bifulco, Pietro Campiglia, Isabel Gomez-Monterrey, Roberto Russo
Transient receptor potential melastatin 8 (TRPM8) ion channel represents a valuable pharmacological option for several therapeutic areas. Here, a series of conformationally restricted derivatives of the previously described TRPM8 antagonist N,N′-dibenzyl tryptophan 4 were prepared and characterized in vitro by Ca2+-imaging and patch-clamp electrophysiology assays. Molecular modeling studies led to identification of a broad and well-defined interaction network of these derivatives inside the TRPM8 binding site, underlying their antagonist activity. The (5R,11aS)-5-(4-chlorophenyl)-2-(4-fluorobenzyl)-5,6,11,11a-tetrahydro-1H-imidazo­[1′,5′:1,6]­pyrido­[3,4-b]­indole-1,3­(2H)-dione (31a) emerged as a potent (IC50 = 4.10 ± 1.2 nM), selective, and metabolically stable TRPM8 antagonist. In vivo, 31a showed significant target coverage in an icilin-induced WDS (at 11.5 mg/kg ip), an oxaliplatin-induced cold allodynia (at 10–30 μg sc), and CCI-induced thermal hyperalgesia (at 11.5 mg/kg ip) mice models. These results confirm the tryptophan moiety as a solid pharmacophore template for the design of highly potent modulators of TRPM8-mediated activities.