Drofenine: a 2-APB analog with improved selectivity for human TRPV3

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Abstract

Transient receptor potential vanilloid-3 (TRPV3) is a member of the TRPV subfamily of TRP ion channels. The physiological functions of TRPV3 are not fully understood, in part, due to a lack of selective agonists and antagonists that could both facilitate the elucidation of roles for TRPV3 in mammalian physiology as well as potentially serve as therapeutic agents to modulate conditions for which altered TRPV3 function has been implicated. In this study, the Microsource Spectrum Collection was screened for TRPV3 agonists and antagonists using alterations in calcium flux in TRPV3 overexpressing human embryonic kidney-293 (HEK-293) cells. The antispasmodic agent drofenine was identified as a new TRPV3 agonist. Drofenine exhibited similar potency to the known TRPV3 agonists 2-aminoethoxydiphenylboronate (2-APB) and carvacrol in HEK-293 cells, but greater selectivity for TRPV3 based on a lack of activation of TRPA1, V1, V2, V4, or M8. Multiple inhibitors were also identified, but all of the compounds were either inactive or not specific. Drofenine activated TRPV3 via interactions with the residue, H426, which is required for TRPV3 activation by 2-APB. Drofenine was a more potent agonist of TRPV3 and more cytotoxic than either carvacrol or 2-APB in human keratinocytes and its effect on TRPV3 in HaCaT cells was further demonstrated using the antagonist icilin. Due to the lack of specificity of existing TRPV3 modulators and the expression of multiple TRP channels in cells/tissue, drofenine may be a valuable probe for elucidating TRPV3 functions in complex biological systems. Identification of TRPV3 as a target for drofenine may also suggest a mechanism by which drofenine acts as a therapeutic agent.

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