Crystallographic studies have elucidated the binding mechanism of forskolin and P-site inhibitors to adenylyl cyclase. Accordingly, computer-assisted drug design has enabled us to identify isoform-selective regulators of adenylyl cyclase. After examining more than 200 newly synthesized derivatives of forskolin, we found that the modification at the positions of C6 and C7, in general, enhances isoform selectivity. The 6-(3-dimethylaminopropionyl) modification led to an enhanced selectivity for type V, whereas 6-[N-(2-isothiocyanatoethyl) aminocarbonyl] and 6-(4-acrylbutyryl) modification led to an enhanced selectivity for type II. In contrast, 2'-deoxyadenosine 3'-monophosphate, a classical and 3'-phosphate-substituted P-site inhibitor, demonstrated a 27-fold selectivity for inhibiting type V relative to type II, whereas 9-(tetrahydro-2-furyl) adenine, a ribose-substituted P-site ligand, showed a markedly increased, 130-fold selectivity for inhibiting type V. Consequently, on the basis of the pharmacophore analysis of 9-(tetrahydro-2-furyl) adenine and adenylyl cyclase, a novel non-nucleoside inhibitor, 2-amino-7-(2-furanyl)-7,8-dihydro-5(6H)-quinazolinone (NKY80), was identified after virtual screening of more than 850,000 compounds. NKY80 demonstrated a 210-fold selectivity for inhibiting type V relative to type II. More importantly, the combination of a type III-selective forskolin derivative and 9-(tetrahydro-2-furyl) adenine or NKY80 demonstrated a further enhanced selectivity for type III stimulation over other isoforms. Our data suggest the feasibility of adenylyl cyclase isoform-targeted regulation of cyclic AMP signaling by pharmacological reagents, either alone or in combination.
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