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  • Comparison between steroid binding to membrane progesterone receptor alpha (mPRalpha) and to nuclear progesterone receptor: correlation with physicochemical properties assessed by comparative molecular field analysis and identification of mPRalpha-specific agonists.

Comparison between steroid binding to membrane progesterone receptor alpha (mPRalpha) and to nuclear progesterone receptor: correlation with physicochemical properties assessed by comparative molecular field analysis and identification of mPRalpha-specific agonists.

Steroids (2010-01-26)
Jan Kelder, Rita Azevedo, Yefei Pang, Jacob de Vlieg, Jing Dong, Peter Thomas
ABSTRACT

Recent results showing that the binding characteristics of 33 steroids for human membrane progesterone receptor alpha (hu-mPRalpha) differ from those for the nuclear progesterone receptor (nPR) suggest that hu-mPRalpha-specific agonists can be identified for investigating its physiological functions. The binding affinities of an additional 21 steroids for hu-mPRalpha were determined to explore the structure-activity relationships in more detail and to identify potent, specific mPRalpha agonists. Four synthetic progesterone derivatives with methyl or methylene groups on positions 18 or 19, 18a-methylprogesterone (18-CH(3)P4, Org OE 64-0), 13-ethenyl-18-norprogesterone (18-CH(2)P4, Org 33663-0), 19a-methylprogesterone (19-CH(3)P4, Org OD 13-0) and 10-ethenyl-19-norprogesterone (19-CH(2)P4, Org OD 02-0), showed similar or higher affinities than progesterone for hu-mPRalpha and displayed mPRalpha agonist activities in G-protein and MAP kinase activation assays. All four steroids also bound to the nPR in cytosolic fractions of MCF-7 cells. However, two compounds, 19-CH(2)P4 and 19-CH(3)P4, showed no nPR agonist activity in a nPR reporter assay and therefore are selective mPRalpha agonists suitable for physiological investigations. The structure-binding relationships of the combined series of 54 steroids for hu-mPRalpha deviated strikingly from those of a published set of 60 3-keto or 3-desoxy steroids for nPR. Close correlations were observed between the receptor binding affinities of the steroids and their physicochemical properties calculated by comparative molecular field analysis (CoMFA) for both hu-mPRalpha and nPR. A comparison of the CoMFA field graphs for the two receptors revealed several differences in the structural features required for binding to hu-mPRalpha and nPR which could be exploited to develop additional mPR-specific ligands.