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The Prostacyclin Analogue, Treprostinil, Used in the Treatment of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension, is a Potent Antagonist of TREK-1 and TREK-2 Potassium Channels

Cunningham, Kevin P., Clapp, Lucie H., Mathie, Alistair, Veale, Emma L. (2021) The Prostacyclin Analogue, Treprostinil, Used in the Treatment of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension, is a Potent Antagonist of TREK-1 and TREK-2 Potassium Channels. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 12 . ISSN 1663-9812. (doi:10.3389/fphar.2021.705421) (KAR id:89481)

Abstract

Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is an aggressive vascular remodeling disease that carries a high morbidity and mortality rate. Treprostinil (Remodulin) is a stable prostacyclin analogue with potent vasodilatory and anti-proliferative activity, approved by the FDA and WHO as a treatment for PAH. A limitation of this therapy is the severe subcutaneous site pain and other forms of pain experienced by some patients, which can lead to significant non-compliance. TWIK-related potassium channels (TREK-1 and TREK-2) are highly expressed in sensory neurons, where they play a role in regulating sensory neuron excitability. Downregulation, inhibition or mutation of these channels leads to enhanced pain sensitivity. Using whole-cell patch-clamp electrophysiological recordings, we show, for the first time, that treprostinil is a potent antagonist of human TREK-1 and TREK-2 channels but not of TASK-1 channels. An increase in TASK-1 channel current was observed with prolonged incubation, consistent with its therapeutic role in PAH. To investigate treprostinil-induced inhibition of TREK, site-directed mutagenesis of a number of amino acids, identified as important for the action of other regulatory compounds, was carried out. We found that a gain of function mutation of TREK-1 (Y284A) attenuated treprostinil inhibition, while a selective activator of TREK channels, BL-1249, overcame the inhibitory effect of treprostinil. Our data suggests that subcutaneous site pain experienced during treprostinil therapy may result from inhibition of TREK channels near the injection site and that pre-activation of these channels prior to treatment has the potential to alleviate this nociceptive activity.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.3389/fphar.2021.705421
Uncontrolled keywords: treprostinil (PubChem CID: 6918140), pulmonary arterial hypertension, TREK-1 (tandem of pore domain in a weak inwardly rectifying K channel (Twik)-related K channels), TASK-1 channel, BL-1249, TREK-2 channels, K2P channels
Subjects: Q Science > QP Physiology (Living systems) > QP506 Molecular biology
R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Medway School of Pharmacy
Depositing User: Alistair Mathie
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2021 19:17 UTC
Last Modified: 08 Jan 2024 14:07 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/89481 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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