GABA agonists. Development and interactions with the GABA receptor complex.

Article date: 1981/8/11

PubMed ID: 390284

Journal name: Molecular and cellular biochemistry (ISSN: 0300-8177)


This review describes the development of GABA receptor agonists with no detectable affinity for other recognition sites in GABA-mediated synapses. The key compounds are THIP, isoguvacine, and piperidine-4-sulphonic acid (P4S), developed via extensive structural modifications of the potent but not strictly specific GABA agonist muscimol. The structural parameters, which have to be considered in the design of GABA agonists are discussed on the basis of the structures and biological activities of these GABA agonists and a number of related compounds. A model, which summarizes our present knowledge of the structure of the postsynaptic GABA receptors complex, is presented, and the interaction of GABA agonists with various sites in this complex is discussed. Of particular interest are the effects of GABA agonists on the binding of diazepam to the benzodiazepine binding site, assumed to be a structural unit of the GABA receptor complex. While rigid molecules like THIP are capable of activating the GABA receptors, a certain degree of conformational mobility of GABA agonists apparently is a prerequisite for stimulation of diazepam binding in vitro at 0 degree C. The findings suggest that GABA receptor functions involve conformational changes of certain elements, including the attempts to develop GABA agonists with desirable pharmacokinetic and toxicological characteristics. While muscimol is a toxic compound, THIP is well tolerated by animals, and in contrast to isoguvacine, THIP penetrates into the brain after systemic administration to animals, a difference which can be explained on the basis of their protolytic properties. The attempts to develop pro-drugs of isoguvacine capable of penetrating the blood-brain barrier with subsequent decomposition in the brain tissue to isoguvacine are described.

Author List: Krogsgaard-Larsen P, Falch E

Publication Types: Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Review

Substances mentioned in the article: Amino Acids; GABA Antagonists; Isonicotinic Acids; Receptors, Cell Surface; Receptors, GABA-A; Benzodiazepines; Muscimol; gamma-Aminobutyric Acid; isoguvacine;

Mesh terms: Amino Acids/metabolism; Animals; Benzodiazepines/metabolism; Brain Chemistry; Cats; Chemical Phenomena; Chemistry; GABA Antagonists; In Vitro Techniques; Isonicotinic Acids/metabolism; Mice; Models, Structural; Muscimol/analogs & derivatives; Receptors, Cell Surface/metabolism; Receptors, GABA-A; Structure-Activity Relationship; gamma-Aminobutyric Acid/analogs & derivatives;

Citations: - Partial agonists for brain GABA/benzodiazepine receptor complex.

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