The antidepressant drug vilazodone is an allosteric inhibitor of the serotonin transporter
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- The antidepressant drug vilazodone is an allosteric inhibitor of the serotonin transporter
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Depression is a common mental disorder. The standard medical treatment is the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). All characterized SSRIs are competitive inhibitors of the serotonin transporter (SERT). A non-competitive inhibitor may produce a more favorable therapeutic profile. Vilazodone is an antidepressant with limited information on its molecular interactions with SERT. Here we use molecular pharmacology and cryo-EM structural elucidation to characterize vilazodone binding to SERT. We find that it exhibits non-competitive inhibition of serotonin uptake and impedes dissociation of [H-3]imipramine at low nanomolar concentrations. Our SERT structure with bound imipramine and vilazodone reveals a unique binding pocket for vilazodone, expanding the boundaries of the extracellular vestibule. Characterization of the binding site is substantiated with molecular dynamics simulations and systematic mutagenesis of interacting residues resulting in decreased vilazodone binding to the allosteric site. Our findings underline the versatility of SERT allosteric ligands and describe the unique binding characteristics of vilazodone.
Vilazodone (VLZ) is a drug for the treatment of major depressive disorders that targets the serotonin transporter (SERT). Here, the authors combine pharmacology measurements and cryo-EM structural analysis to characterize VLZ binding to SERT and observe that VLZ exhibits non-competitive inhibition of serotonin transport and binds with nanomolar affinity to an allosteric site in SERT.
|Number of pages
|Published - 2021
- HIGH-AFFINITY RECOGNITION, CRYO-EM STRUCTURE, X-RAY STRUCTURES, NEUROTRANSMITTER TRANSPORTERS, DOPAMINE TRANSPORTER, MOLECULAR-DYNAMICS, BACTERIAL HOMOLOG, BINDING-SITE, FORCE-FIELD, OPEN-LABEL
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