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Agonists and Antagonists of Protease Activated Receptors (PARs)

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Abstract:

Protease activated receptors (PARs) are a category of G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) implicated in the progression of a wide range of diseases, including thrombosis, inflammatory disorders, and proliferative diseases. Signal transduction via PARs proceeds via an unusual activation mechanism. Instead of being activated through direct interaction with an extracellular signal like most GPCRs, they are self-activated following cleavage of their extracellular N-terminus by serine proteases to generate a new receptor N-terminus that acts as an intramolecular ligand by folding back onto itself and triggering receptor activation. Short synthetic peptides corresponding to this newly exposed N-terminal tethered ligand can activate three of the four known PARs in the absence of proteases, and such PAR activating peptides (PAR-APs) have served as templates for agonist/antagonist development. In fact much of the evidence for involvement of PARs in diseases has relied upon use of PAR-APs, often of low potency and uncertain selectivity. This review summarizes current structures of PAR agonists and antagonists, the need for more selective and more potent PAR ligands that activate or antagonize this intriguing class of receptors, and outlines the background relevant to PAR activation, assay methods, and physiological properties anticipated for PAR ligands.

Keywords: GPCR; PAR; agonist; antagonist; protease; review; thrombin; trypsin

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/092986706775476070

Affiliations: Centre for Drug Design and Development, Institute for Molecular Bioscience, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Qld 4072, Australia.

Publication date: February 1, 2006

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
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