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The design and synthesis of dimeric versions of the intracellular signaling molecule d-myo-inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate [Ins(1,4,5)P(3)] are reported. Ins(1,4,5)P(3) dimers in a range of sizes were constructed by conjugation of a partially protected 2-O-(2-aminoethyl)-Ins(1,4,5)P(3) intermediate with activated oligo- and poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) tethers, to give benzyl-protected dimers with amide or carbamate linkages. After deprotection, the resulting water-soluble Ins(1,4,5)P(3) dimers were purified by ion-exchange chromatography. The interaction of the Ins(1,4,5)P(3) dimers with tetrameric Ins(1,4,5)P(3) receptors was explored, using equilibrium [(3)H]Ins(1,4,5)P(3)-binding to membranes from cerebellum, and (45)Ca(2+)-release from permeabilized hepatocytes. The results showed that dimers, even when they incorporate large PEG tethers, interact potently with Ins(1,4,5)P(3) receptors, and that the shorter dimers are more potent than Ins(1,4,5)P(3) itself. A very small dimer, consisting of two Ins(1,4,5)P(3) motifs joined by a short N,N'-diethylurea spacer, was synthesized. Preliminary studies of (45)Ca(2+) release from the intracellular stores of permeabilized hepatocytes showed this shortest dimer to be almost as potent as adenophostin A, the most potent Ins(1,4,5)P(3) receptor ligand known. Possible interpretations of this result are considered in relation to the recently disclosed X-ray crystal structure of the type 1 Ins(1,4,5)P(3) receptor core binding domain.

Original publication




Journal article


Bioconjug Chem

Publication Date





278 - 289


Animals, Binding, Competitive, Calcium Channels, Cell Membrane, Cell Membrane Permeability, Cerebellum, Dimerization, Drug Design, Hepatocytes, Inositol 1,4,5-Trisphosphate, Inositol 1,4,5-Trisphosphate Receptors, Mice, Protein Binding, Rats, Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear