Structure-inspired design of a sphingolipid mimic sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor agonist from a naturally occurring sphingomyelin synthase inhibitor
Ginkgolic acid obtained as a sphingomyelin synthase inhibitor from a plant extract library inspired the concept of sphingolipid mimics. Ginkgolic acid-derived N-acyl anilines and ginkgolic acid 2-phosphate (GA2P) respectively mimic ceramide and sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) in structure and function. The GA2P-induced phosphorylation of ERK and internalization of S1P receptor 1 (S1P1) indicated potent agonist activity. Docking studies revealed that GA2P adopts a similar binding conformation to the bound ligand ML5, which is a strong antagonist of S1P1.