Structure–activity relationship of novel macrocyclic biased apelin receptor agonists†
Apelin is the endogenous ligand for the G protein-coupled receptor APJ and exerts a key role in regulating cardiovascular functions. We report herein a novel series of macrocyclic analogues of apelin-13 in which the N- and C-terminal residues as well as the macrocycle composition were chemically modified to modulate structure–activity relationships on the APJ receptor. To this end, the binding affinity and the ability to engage G protein-dependent and G protein-independent signalling pathways of the resulting analogues were assessed. In this series, the position and the nature of the C-terminal aromatic residue is a determinant for APJ interaction and β-arrestin recruitment, as previously demonstrated for linear apelin-13 derivatives. We finally discovered compounds 1, 4, 11 and 15, four potent G protein-biased apelin receptor agonists exhibiting affinity in the nanomolar range for APJ. These macrocyclic compounds represent very useful pharmacological tools to explore the therapeutic potential of the apelinergic system.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Macrocycles with bio-related applications