Identification of the first surrogate agonists for the G protein-coupled receptor GPR132†
GPR132 is an orphan class A G protein-coupled receptor. It has been proposed to be activated by protons and to regulate apoptosis, atherosclerosis and inflammation, but these results are still preliminary. In the current work, we designed and screened a focused compound library using a β-arrestin recruitment assay, and thereby identified the first disclosed surrogate GPR132 agonist 1 with a potency of 3.4 μM. This constitutes the first available pharmacological tool for the in vitro characterization of the orphan receptor GPR132. The testing of 32 analogs furthermore identified a number of compounds with lower activity – of which six were agonists and two were antagonists – that were used to construct preliminary structure–activity relationships. Docking followed by a molecular dynamics simulation of compound 1 in a structural model of GPR132 displayed the putative interactions for the key ligand functionalities.