New God Gene (VMAT2) Inhibitor Discovered

Novel N-1,2-dihydroxypropyl analogs of lobelane inhibit vesicular monoamine transporter-2 (VMAT2) function and methamphetamine-evoked dopamine release.


University of Kentucky.


Lobelane, a chemically defunctionalized saturated analog of lobeline, has increased selectivity for the vesicular monoamine transporter-2 (VMAT2) compared to the parent compound. Lobelane inhibits methamphetamine-evoked dopamine (DA) release and decreases methamphetamine self-administration. Unfortunately, tolerance develops to the ability of lobelane to decrease these behavioral effects of methamphetamine. Lobelane has low water solubility, which is problematic for drug development. The aim of the current study was to determine the pharmacological effect of replacement of the N-methyl moiety with a chiral N-1,2-dihydroxypropyl (N-1,2-diol) moiety, which enhances water solubility, altering the configuration of the N-1,2-diol moiety, and incorporating phenyl ring substituents into the analogs. To determine VMAT2 selectivity, structure-activity relationships also were generated for inhibition of DA and serotonin transporters. Analogs with highest potency for inhibiting DA uptake at VMAT2 and with at least 10-fold selectivity were evaluated further for ability to inhibit methamphetamine-evoked DA release from superfused striatal slices. GZ-793A, the (R)-4-methoxyphenyl-N-1,2-diol analog, and GZ-794A, the (R)-1-naphthyl-N-1,2-diol analog, exhibited the highest potency (Ki ~30 nM) inhibiting VMAT2, and both analogs inhibited methamphetamine-evoked endogenous DA release (IC50 = 10.6 and 0.4µM, respectively). Thus, the pharmacophore for VMAT2 inhibition accommodates the N-1,2-diol moiety, which improves drug-likeness and enhances the potential for development of these clinical candidates as treatments for methamphetamine abuse.

[PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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