Evidence for the interaction of A3 adenosine receptor agonists at the drug-binding site(s) of human p-glycoprotein (abcb1)

Biebele Abel, Dilip K. Tosh, Stewart R. Durell, Megumi Murakami, Shahrooz Vahedi, Kenneth A. Jacobson*, Suresh V. Ambudkar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


P-glycoprotein (P-gp) is a multidrug transporter that is expressed on the luminal surface of epithelial cells in the kidney, intestine, bile-canalicular membrane in the liver, blood-brain barrier, and adrenal gland. This transporter uses energy of ATP hydrolysis to efflux from cells a variety of structurally dissimilar hydrophobic and amphipathic compounds, including anticancer drugs. In this regard, understanding the interaction with P-gp of drug entities in development is important and highly recommended in current US Food and Drug Administration guidelines. Here we tested the P-gp interaction of some A3 adenosine receptor agonists that are being developed for the treatment of chronic diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, chronic pain, and hepatocellular carcinoma. Biochemical assays of the ATPase activity of P-gp and by photolabeling P-gp with its transport substrate [125I]-iodoarylazidoprazosin led to the identification of rigidified (N)methanocarba nucleosides (i.e., compound 3 as a stimulator and compound 8 as a partial inhibitor of P-gp ATPase activity). Compound 8 significantly inhibited boron-dipyrromethene (BODIPY)-verapamil transport mediated by human P-gp (IC50 2.4 6 0.6 mM); however, the BODIPY-conjugated derivative of 8 (compound 24) was not transported by P-gp. In silico docking of compounds 3 and 8 was performed using the recently solved atomic structure of paclitaxel (Taxol)-bound human P-gp. Molecular modeling studies revealed that both compounds 3 and 8 bind in the same region of the drug-binding pocket as Taxol. Thus, this study indicates that nucleoside derivatives can exhibit varied modulatory effects on P-gp activity, depending on structural functionalization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180-192
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular Pharmacology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


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