This is a competing continuation application for a K05 Senior Scientist and Mentorship Award to support Dr. Patricia H. Reggio and her long-standing program in research, education and academic development devoted to understanding the determinants for the action of the cannabinoids at a molecular level. Dr. Reggio's laboratory is currently funded through March 2014 (R01 DA03934) for a multidisciplinary project entitled, """"""""Molecular Determinants of Cannabinoid Activity."""""""" This project is in its twenty-fourth year of NIDA support. Dr. Reggio currently has a K05 award from NIDA (5K05 DA021358) which ends in April 2012. This award has permitted the reduction of significant teaching and service responsibilities such that she could devote 75% of her time to research over the K05 project period. Under the plan detailed in this K05 application, Dr. Reggio will be able to continue to focus 75% of her time on research, while maintaining her mentorship and leadership activities, as well as her career development. The Research Plan outlines a collaborative, multidisciplinary project that involves the application of state-of-the-art methods for molecular simulation and structure-function analysis, as well as the implementation of new tools in bioinformatics. This plan includes (1) the identification of allosteric modulator binding sites at the cannabinoid CB1 receptor and the synthesis of second generation positive allosteric modulators;(2) the determination of the cannabinoid CB2/ GGDP complex structure based upon novel crosslinking experiments and modeling studies;and (3) the development of novel, selective GPR55 (a putative cannabinoid receptor) antagonists based upon the results of a high-throughput, high-content screen of GPR55 conducted by the Sanford-Burnham screening center of the Molecular Libraries Probe Production Centers Network (MLPCN) in collaboration with Dr. Reggio and Dr. Mary Abood (Temple University). At each step, the computational aspects of this project will be aided and supplemented by collaboration with experimental medicinal chemists, pharmacologists and molecular biologists. Hypotheses generated via molecular simulation will be tested by compound synthesis and pharmacological evaluation. Key receptor residues and interactions identified through receptor modeling studies will be tested via mutation and functional studies. Experimental information will be used to refine receptor models such that at any given time, these models reflect the current state of knowledge in the cannabinoid field. Information about cannabinoid receptor structure and binding modes of ligands will aid in fundamental structure-function studies of this important class of receptors and will also aid in th design of improved therapeutic agents based on the cannabinoids.

Public Health Relevance

The CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors and the putative cannabinoid receptor, GPR55, are important therapeutic targets for the treatment of obesity, inflammatory pain, neuropathic pain, and bone development disorders. However, the lack of low-nanomolar potency allosteric and/or orthosteric ligands for these receptors is a critical barrier to progress in this field. Information about cannabinoid receptor structure and binding modes of ligands will aid in fundamental structure-function studies of this important class of receptors and will also aid in the design of improved therapeutic agents based on the cannabinoids.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Research Scientist Award (K05)
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Study Section
Human Development Research Subcommittee (NIDA)
Program Officer
Hillery, Paul
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University of North Carolina Greensboro
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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Morales, Paula; Isawi, Israa; Reggio, Patricia H (2018) Towards a better understanding of the cannabinoid-related orphan receptors GPR3, GPR6, and GPR12. Drug Metab Rev 50:74-93
Reggio, Patricia H (2018) GPCRs Moonlighting as Scramblases: Mechanism Revealed. Structure 26:184-186
Morales, Paula; Reggio, Patricia H; Jagerovic, Nadine (2017) An Overview on Medicinal Chemistry of Synthetic and Natural Derivatives of Cannabidiol. Front Pharmacol 8:422
Morales, Paula; Reggio, Patricia H (2017) An Update on Non-CB1, Non-CB2 Cannabinoid Related G-Protein-Coupled Receptors. Cannabis Cannabinoid Res 2:265-273
Lingerfelt, Mary A; Zhao, Pingwei; Sharir, Haleli P et al. (2017) Identification of Crucial Amino Acid Residues Involved in Agonist Signaling at the GPR55 Receptor. Biochemistry 56:473-486
Morales, Paula; Hurst, Dow P; Reggio, Patricia H (2017) Molecular Targets of the Phytocannabinoids: A Complex Picture. Prog Chem Org Nat Prod 103:103-131
Laprairie, Robert B; Kulkarni, Abhijit R; Kulkarni, Pushkar M et al. (2016) Mapping Cannabinoid 1 Receptor Allosteric Site(s): Critical Molecular Determinant and Signaling Profile of GAT100, a Novel, Potent, and Irreversibly Binding Probe. ACS Chem Neurosci 7:776-98
Morales, Paula; Gómez-Cañas, María; Navarro, Gemma et al. (2016) Chromenopyrazole, a Versatile Cannabinoid Scaffold with in Vivo Activity in a Model of Multiple Sclerosis. J Med Chem 59:6753-6771
Mahmoud, Mariam M; Olszewska, Teresa; Liu, Hui et al. (2015) (4-(Bis(4-fluorophenyl)methyl)piperazin-1-yl)(cyclohexyl)methanone hydrochloride (LDK1229): a new cannabinoid CB1 receptor inverse agonist from the class of benzhydryl piperazine analogs. Mol Pharmacol 87:197-206
Janero, David R; Yaddanapudi, Suma; Zvonok, Nikolai et al. (2015) Molecular-interaction and signaling profiles of AM3677, a novel covalent agonist selective for the cannabinoid 1 receptor. ACS Chem Neurosci 6:1400-10

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