Determination and reduction of translocator protein (TSPO) ligand rs6971 discrimination

Renee Sokias, Eryn L. Werry, Sook W. Chua, Tristan A. Reekie, Lenka Munoz, Erick C.N. Wong, Lars M. Ittner, Michael Kassiou*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
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The 18 kDa translocator protein (TSPO) is a target for development of diagnostic imaging agents for glioblastoma and neuroinflammation. Clinical translation of TSPO imaging agents has been hindered by the presence of a polymorphism, rs6971, which causes a non-conservative substitution of alanine for threonine at amino acid residue 147 (TSPO A147T). Disclosed brain-permeant second-generation TSPO ligands bind TSPO A147T with reduced affinity compared to the wild type protein (TSPO WT). Efforts to develop a TSPO ligand that binds TSPO WT and TSPO A147T with similarly high affinity have been hampered by a lack of knowledge about how ligand structure differentially influences interaction with the two forms of TSPO. To gain insight, we have established human embryonic kidney cell lines stably over-expressing human TSPO WT and TSPO A147T, and tested how modifications of a novel N-alkylated carbazole scaffold influence affinity to both TSPO isoforms. Most of the new analogues developed in this study showed high affinity to TSPO WT and a 5-6-fold lower affinity to TSPO A147T. Addition of electron-withdrawing substituents yielded analogues with highest affinity for TSPO A147T without decreasing affinity for TSPO WT. This knowledge can be used to inform further development of non-discriminating TSPO ligands for use as diagnostic markers for glioblastoma and neuroinflammation irrespective of rs6971.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-210
Number of pages9
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes

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Copyright the Royal Society of Chemistry 2017. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


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