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Papers of the Week

Papers: 4 Jan 2020 - 10 Jan 2020

Animal Studies, Pharmacology/Drug Development

2020 Feb 15

Eur J Med Chem


Novel mouse GABA uptake inhibitors with enhanced inhibitory activity toward mGAT3/4 and their effect on pain threshold in mice.


Zaręba P, Gryzło B, Malawska K, Sałat K, Höfner GC, Nowaczyk A, Fijałkowski Ł, Rapacz A, Podkowa A, Furgała A, Żmudzki P, Wanner KT, Malawska B, Kulig K
Eur J Med Chem. 2020 Feb 15; 188:111920.
PMID: 31901745.


γ-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) uptake transporters are membrane transport proteins that are involved in the pathophysiology of a number of neurological disorders. Some types of chronic pain appear to result from the dysfunction of the GABAergic system. The deficiency of mouse GAT1 transporter (mGAT1) abolishes the nociceptive response, which means that mGAT1 inhibition is an appropriate medical approach to achieve analgesia. The mGAT4 transporter is the second most abundant GAT subtype in the brain; however, its physiological role has not yet been fully understood in the central nervous system. In this study, we examined whether the combination of mGAT1 and mGAT3/mGAT4 inhibition in a single molecule might lead to potentially synergistic effects improving analgesic activity to relieve neuropathic pain. To study this hypothesis, new GABA uptake inhibitors were designed, synthesized, and evaluated in terms of their activity and subtype selectivity for mGAT1-4. Among new functionalized amino acid derivatives of serine and GABA analogs, compounds with preferential mGAT3/4 inhibitory activity were discovered. Two selected hits (19b and 31c) were subjected to in vivo tests. We found a statistically significant antiallodynic activity in the von Frey test in diabetic and oxaliplatin-induced neuropathic pain model. The novel compounds (4-hydroxybutanoic, 4-hydroxypentanoic, and 4-aminobutanoic acid derivatives and serine analogs) provide new insights into the structure-activity relationship of mGAT3/mGAT4 inhibitors and indicate a new direction in the search for potential treatment of neuropathic pain of various origin.