Selective agonists and antagonists of formylpeptide receptors: Duplex flow cytometry and mixture-based positional scanning libraries

Clemencia Pinilla, Bruce S. Edwards, Jon R. Appel, Tina Yates-Gibbins, Marc A. Giulianotti, Jose L. Medina-Franco, Susan M. Young, Radleigh G. Santos, Larry A. Sklar, Richard A. Houghten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The formylpeptide receptor (FPR1) and formylpeptide-like 1 receptor (FPR2) are G protein-coupled receptors that are linked to acute inflammatory responses, malignant glioma stem cell metastasis, and chronic inflammation. Although several Nformyl peptides are known to bind to these receptors, more selective small-molecule, high-affinity ligands are needed for a better understanding of the physiologic roles played by these receptors. High-throughput assays using mixture-based combinatorial libraries represent a unique, highly efficient approach for rapid data acquisition and ligand identification. We report the superiority of this approach in the context of the simultaneous screening of a diverse set of mixture-based small-molecule libraries. We used a single cross-reactive peptide ligand for a duplex flow cytometric screen of FPR1 and FPR2 in colorcoded cell lines. Screening 37 differentmixture-based combinatorial libraries totaling more than five million small molecules (contained in 5,261 mixture samples) resulted in seven libraries that significantly inhibited activity at the receptors. Using positional scanning deconvolution, selective high-affinity (low nM Ki) individual compounds were identified from two separate libraries, namely, pyrrolidine bis-diketopiperazine and polyphenyl urea. The most active individual compounds were characterized for their functional activities as agonists or antagonists with the most potent FPR1 agonist and FPR2 antagonist identified to date with an EC50 of 131 nM (4 nM Ki) and an IC50 of 81 nM (1 nM Ki), respectively, in intracellular Ca2+ response determinations. Comparative analyses of other previous screening approaches clearly illustrate the efficiency of identifying receptor selective, individual compounds from mixture-based combinatorial libraries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)314-324
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Pharmacology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes


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