Activation of the serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) 5HT2C G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) is proposed as novel pharmacotherapy for obesity and neuropsychiatric disorders. In contrast, activation of the 5-HT2A and 5-HT2B GPCRs is associated with untoward hallucinogenic and cardiopulmonary effects, respectively. There is no crystal structure available to guide design of 5-HT2C receptor-specific ligands. For this reason, a homology model of the 5-HT2C receptor was built based on the crystal structure of the human β2 adrenoceptor GPCR to delineate molecular determinants of ligand–receptor interactions for drug design purposes. Computational and experimental studies were carried out to validate the model. Binding of N(CH3)2-PAT [(1R, 3S)-(–)-trans-1-phenyl-3-N,N-dimethylamino-1,2,3,4-tetrahydronaphthalene], a novel 5-HT2C agonist/5-HT2A/2B inverse agonist, and its secondary [NH(CH3)-PAT] and primary (NH2-PAT) amine analogs were studied at the 5-HT2C wild type (WT) and D3.32A, S3.36A, and Y7.43A 5-HT2C point-mutated receptors. Reference ligands included the tertiary amines lisuride and mesulergine and the primary amine 5-HT. Modeling results indicated that 5-HT2C residues D3.32, S3.36, and Y7.43 play a role in ligand binding. Experimental ligand binding results with WT and point-mutated receptors confirmed the impact of D3.32, S3.36, and Y7.43 on ligand affinity. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Quantum Chem, 2012
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