• A novel orvinol analog, BU08028, as a safe opioid analgesic without abuse liability in primates

      Ding, Huiping; Czoty, Paul W.; Kiguchi, Norikazu; Cami-Kobeci, Gerta; Sukhtankar, Devki D.; Nader, Michael A.; Husbands, Stephen M.; Ko, Mei-Chuan; ; Wake Forest University; et al. (National Academy of Sciences, 2016-08-29)
      Despite the critical need, no previous research has substantiated safe opioid analgesics without abuse liability in primates. Recent advances in medicinal chemistry have led to the development of ligands with mixed mu opioid peptide (MOP)/nociceptin-orphanin FQ peptide (NOP) receptor agonist activity to achieve this objective. BU08028 is a novel orvinol analog that displays a similar binding profile to buprenorphine with improved affinity and efficacy at NOP receptors. The aim of this preclinical study was to establish the functional profile of BU08028 in monkeys using clinically used MOP receptor agonists for side-by-side comparisons in various wellhoned behavioral and physiological assays. Systemic BU08028 (0.001-0.01 mg/kg) produced potent long-lasting (i.e., >24 h) antinociceptive and antiallodynic effects, which were blocked by MOP or NOP receptor antagonists. More importantly, the reinforcing strength of BU08028 was significantly lower than that of cocaine, remifentanil, or buprenorphine in monkeys responding under a progressive-ratio schedule of drug self-administration. Unlike MOP receptor agonists, BU08028 at antinociceptive doses and ?10-to 30-fold higher doses did not cause respiratory depression or cardiovascular adverse events as measured by telemetry devices. After repeated administration, the monkeys developed acute physical dependence on morphine, as manifested by precipitated withdrawal signs, such as increased respiratory rate, heart rate, and blood pressure. In contrast, monkeys did not show physical dependence on BU08028. These in vivo findings in primates not only document the efficacy and tolerability profile of bifunctional MOP/NOP receptor agonists, but also provide a means of translating such ligands into therapies as safe and potentially abusefree opioid analgesics.
    • Structural and mechanistic analysis of the arsenate respiratory reductase provides insight into environmental arsenic transformations

      Glasser, Nathaniel R.; Oyala, Paul H.; Osborne, Thomas H.; Santini, Joanne M.; Newman, Dianne K. (National Academy of Sciences, 2018-08-13)
      Arsenate respiration by bacteria was discovered over two decades ago and is catalyzed by diverse organisms using the well-conserved Arr enzyme complex. Until now, the mechanisms underpinning this metabolism have been relatively opaque. Here, we report the structure of an Arr complex (solved by X-ray crystallography to 1.6-Å resolution), which was enabled by an improved Arr expression method in the genetically tractable arsenate respirer Shewanella sp. ANA-3. We also obtained structures bound with the substrate arsenate (1.8 Å), the product arsenite (1.8 Å), and the natural inhibitor phosphate (1.7 Å). The structures reveal a conserved active-site motif that distinguishes Arr [(R/K)GRY] from the closely related arsenite respiratory oxidase (Arx) complex (XGRGWG). Arr activity assays using methyl viologen as the electron donor and arsenate as the electron acceptor display two-site ping-pong kinetics. A Mo(V) species was detected with EPR spectroscopy, which is typical for proteins with a pyranopterin guanine dinucleotide cofactor. Arr is an extraordinarily fast enzyme that approaches the diffusion limit (Km = 44.6 ± 1.6 μM, kcat = 9,810 ± 220 seconds-1), and phosphate is a competitive inhibitor of arsenate reduction (Ki = 325 ± 12 μM). These observations, combined with knowledge of typical sedimentary arsenate and phosphate concentrations and known rates of arsenate desorption from minerals in the presence of phosphate, suggest that (i) arsenate desorption limits microbiologically induced arsenate reductive mobilization and (ii) phosphate enhances arsenic mobility by stimulating arsenate desorption rather than by inhibiting it at the enzymatic level.