The search for NKCC1-selective drugs for the treatment of epilepsy: Structure-function relationship of bumetanide and various bumetanide derivatives in inhibiting the human cation-chloride cotransporter NKCC1A

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Kasper Lykke Pedersen
  • Kathrin Töllner
  • Peter W Feit
  • Thomas Erker
  • MacAulay, Nanna
  • Wolfgang Löscher

The Na(+)-K(+)-Cl(-) cotransporter NKCC1 plays a major role in the regulation of intraneuronal Cl(-) concentration. Abnormal functionality of NKCC1 has been implicated in several brain disorders, including epilepsy. Bumetanide is the only available selective NKCC1 inhibitor, but also inhibits NKCC2, which can cause severe adverse effects during treatment of brain disorders. A NKCC1-selective bumetanide derivative would therefore be a desirable option. In the present study, we used the Xenopus oocyte heterologous expression system to compare the effects of bumetanide and several derivatives on the two major human splice variants of NKCCs, hNKCC1A and hNKCC2A. The derivatives were selected from a series of ~5000 3-amino-5-sulfamoylbenzoic acid derivatives, covering a wide range of structural modifications and diuretic potencies. To our knowledge, such structure-function relationships have not been performed before for NKCC1. Half maximal inhibitory concentrations (IC50s) of bumetanide were 0.68 (hNKCC1A) and 4.0μM (hNKCC2A), respectively, indicating that this drug is 6-times more potent to inhibit hNKCC1A than hNKCC2A. Side chain substitutions in the bumetanide molecule variably affected the potency to inhibit hNKCC1A. This allowed defining the minimal structural requirements necessary for ligand interaction. Unexpectedly, only a few of the bumetanide derivatives examined were more potent than bumetanide to inhibit hNKCC1A, and most of them also inhibited hNKCC2A, with a highly significant correlation between IC50s for the two NKCC isoforms. These data indicate that the structural requirements for inhibition of NKCC1 and NKCC2 are similar, which complicates development of bumetanide-related compounds with high selectivity for NKCC1.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEpilepsy & Behavior
Pages (from-to)42-49
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016

ID: 167847930