[en] Background and Purpose
The succinate receptor (SUCNR1 or GPR91) has been described as a metabolic sensor that may be involved in homeostasis. Notwithstanding its implication in important (patho)physiological processes, the function of SUCNR1 has remained elusive because no pharmacological tools were available. We report on the discovery of the first family of synthetic potent agonists.
We screened a library of succinate analogues and analysed their activity on SUCNR1. In addition, we modelled a pharmacophore and a binding site for the receptor. New agonists were identified based on the information provided by these two approaches. Their activity was studied in various bioassays, including measurement of cAMP levels, [Ca2+]i mobilisation, TGF-α shedding and recruitment of arrestin 3. The in vivo impact of SUCNR1 activation by these new agonists was evaluated on rat blood pressure.
We identified cis-epoxysuccinic acid and cis-1,2-cyclopropanedicarboxylic acid as agonists with an efficacy similar to the one of succinic acid. Interestingly, cis-epoxysuccinic acid was characterized by a 10 to 20 fold higher potency than succinate on the receptor. For example, cis-epoxysuccinic acid reduced cAMP levels with a pEC50 = 5.57 ± 0.02 (EC50 = 2.7 μM) as compared to succinate pEC50 = 4.54 ± 0.08 (EC50 = 29 μM). The rank order of potency of the three agonists was the same in all bioassays tested. In vivo, cis-epoxysuccinic and cis-1,2-cyclopropanedicarboxylic acid increased rat blood pressure to the same extent as succinate did.
Conclusions and Implications
We provide new agonist tools for SUCNR1 that should facilitate further research on this understudied receptor.