Photomodulation of G protein-coupled adenosine receptors by a novel light-switchable ligand

María Isabel Bahamonde, Jaume Taura, Silvia Paoletta, Andrei A. Gakh, Saibal Chakraborty, Jordi Hernando, Víctor Fernández-Dueñas, Kenneth A. Jacobson, Pau Gorostiza, Francisco Ciruela

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


© 2014 American Chemical Society. The adenosinergic system operates through G protein-coupled adenosine receptors, which have become promising therapeutic targets for a wide range of pathological conditions. However, the ubiquity of adenosine receptors and the eventual lack of selectivity of adenosine-based drugs have frequently diminished their therapeutic potential. Accordingly, here we aimed to develop a new generation of light-switchable adenosine receptor ligands that change their intrinsic activity upon irradiation, thus allowing the spatiotemporal control of receptor functioning (i.e., receptor activation/inactivation dependent on location and timing). Therefore, we synthesized an orthosteric, photoisomerizable, and nonselective adenosine receptor agonist, nucleoside derivative MRS5543 containing an aryl diazo linkage on the N6 substituent, which in the dark (relaxed isomer) behaved as a full adenosine A3 receptor (A3R) and partial adenosine A2A receptor (A2AR) agonist. Conversely, upon photoisomerization with blue light (460 nm), it remained a full A3R agonist but became an A2AR antagonist. Interestingly, molecular modeling suggested that structural differences encountered within the third extracellular loop of each receptor could modulate the intrinsic, receptor subtype-dependent, activity. Overall, the development of adenosine receptor ligands with photoswitchable activity expands the pharmacological toolbox in support of research and possibly opens new pharmacotherapeutic opportunities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1847-1854
JournalBioconjugate Chemistry
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2014


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