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This is a talk/status report given on our BLUES technique for estimating fragment binding mode occupancies; it was presented at the OpenEye CUP Meeting in Santa Fe, NM, March 8, 2018. This work is in the area of structure-based drug design and we are working on modeling techniques to efficiently estimate populations of metastable ligand binding modes. The presentation is made available in PowerPoint and Keynote formats and includes movies, so the files are large.
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This provides electronic supporting materials, especially input files and trajectory files, associated with our work "Is ring breaking feasible in relative binding free energy calculations?"
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Role of the endogenous cannabinoid system as a modulator of dopamine transmission: implications for Parkinson's disease and schizophrenia.
The endogenous cannabinoid system is a new signaling system composed by the central (CB1) and the peripheral (CB2) receptors, and several lipid transmitters including anandamide and 2-arachidonylglycerol. This system is the target of natural cannabinoids, the psychoactive constituents of Cannabis sativa preparations (marijuana, hashish). Acute and chronic cannabis exposure has been associated with subjective feelings of pleasure and relaxation, but also to the onset of psychiatric syndromes, a decrease of the efficacy of neuroleptics and alterations in the extrapyramidal system regulation of motor activity. These actions point to a tight association of the cannabinoid system with the brain dopaminergic circuits involved in addiction, the clinical manifestation of positive symptoms of schizophrenia and Parkinson's disease. The present work discusses anatomical, biochemical and pharmacological evidences supporting a role for the endogenous cannabinoid system in the modulation of dopaminergic transmission. Cannabinoid CB1 receptors are present in dopamine projecting brain areas. In primates and certain rat strains it is also located in dopamine cells of the A8, A9 and A10 mesencephalic cell groups, as well as in hypothalamic dopaminergic neurons controlling prolactin secretion. CB1 receptors co-localize with dopamine D1/D2 receptors in dopamine projecting fields. Manipulation of dopaminergic transmission is able to alter the synthesis and release of anandamide as well as the expression of CB1 receptors. Additionally, CB1 receptors can switch its transduction mechanism to oppose to the ongoing dopamine signaling. Acute blockade of CB1 receptor potentiates the facilitatory role of dopamine D2 receptor agonists on movement. CB1 stimulation results in sensitization to the motor effects of indirect dopaminergic agonists. The dynamics of these changes indicate that the cannabinoid system is an activity-dependent modulator of dopaminergic transmission, an hypothesis relevant for the design of new therapeutic strategies for dopamine-related diseases such as the psychosis and Parkinson's disease.
Parkinson's disease (PD) is one of the most common movement disorders, and currently there is no effective treatment that can slow disease progression. Preserving and enhancing DA neuron survival is increasingly regarded as the most promising therapeutic strategy for treating PD. IRX4204 is a second generation retinoid X receptor (RXR) agonist that has no cross reactivity with retinoic acid receptors, farnesoid X receptor, liver X receptors or peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor PPARγ. We found that IRX4204 promotes the survival and maintenance of nigral dopaminergic (DA) neurons in a dose-dependent manner in primary mesencephalic cultures. Brain bioavailability studies demonstrate that IRX4204 can cross the blood brain barrier and reach the brain at nM concentration. Oral administration of IRX4204 can activate nuclear receptor Nurr1 downstream signaling in the substantia nigra (SN) andattenuate neurochemical and motor deficits in a rat model of PD. Our study suggests that IRX4204 represents a novel, potent and selective pharmacological means to activate cellular RXR-Nurr1 signaling and promote SN DA neuron survival in PD prevention and/or treatment.
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