Prostaglandin E2 receptor 1 (EP1) is a 42kDa prostaglandin receptor encoded by the PTGER1 gene. EP1 is one of four identified EP receptors, EP1, EP2, EP3, and EP4 which bind with and mediate cellular responses principally to prostaglandin E2) (PGE2) and also but generally with lesser affinity and responsiveness to certain other prostanoids (see Prostaglandin receptors). Animal model studies have implicated EP1 in various physiological and pathological responses. However, key differences in the distribution of EP1 between these test animals and humans as well as other complicating issues make it difficult to establish the function(s) of this receptor in human health and disease.
The following standard prostaglandins have the following relative potencies in binding to and activating EP1: PGE2≥PGE1>PGF2alpha>PGD2. The receptor binding affinityDissociation constant Kd (i.e. ligand concentration needed to bind with 50% of available EP1 receptors) is ~20 nM and that of PGE1 ~40 for the mouse receptor and ~25 nM for PGE2 with the human receptor.
Because PGE2 activates multiple prostanoid receptors and has a short half-life in vivo due to its rapidly metabolism in cells by omega oxidation and beta oxidation], metabolically resistant EP1-selective activators are useful for the study of EP1's function and could be clinically useful for the treatment of certain diseases. Only one such agonist that is highly selective in stimulating EP1 has been synthesized and identified, ONO-D1-OO4. This compound has a Ki inhibitory binding value (see Biochemistry#Receptor/ligand binding affinity) of 150 nM compared to that of 25 nM for PGE2 and is therefore ~5 times weaker than PGE2.
SC51322 (Ki=13.8 nM), GW-848687 (Ki=8.6 nM), ONO-8711, SC-19220, SC-51089, and several other synthetic compounds given in next cited reference are selective competitive antagonists for EP1 that have been used for studies in animal models of human diseases. Carbacylin, 17-phenyltrinor PGE1, and several other tested compounds are dual EP1/EP3 antagonists (most marketed prostanoid receptor antagonists exhibit poor receptor selectivity).
Mechanism of cell activation
When initially bound to PGE2 or other stimulating ligand, EP1 mobilizes G proteins containing the Gq alpha subunit (Gαq/11)-G beta-gamma complex. These two subunits in turn stimulate the Phosphoinositide 3-kinase pathway that raises cellular cytosolic Ca2+ levels thereby regulating Ca2+-sensitive cell signal pathways which include, among several others, those that promote the activation of certain protein kinase C isoforms. Since, this rise in cytosolic Ca2+ can also contract muscle cells, EP1 has been classified as a contractile type of prostanoid receptor. The activation of protein kinases C feeds back to phosphorylate and thereby desensitizes the activated EP1 receptor (see homologous desensitization but may also desensitize other types of prostanoid and non-prostanoid receptors (see heterologous desensitization). These desensitizations limit further EP1 receptor activation within the cell. Concurrently with the mobilization of these pathways, ligand-activated EP1 stimulates ERK, p38 mitogen-activated protein kinases, and CREB pathways that lead to cellular functional responses.
Studies using animals genetically engineered to lack EP1 and supplemented by studies using treatment with EP1 receptor antagonists and agonists indicate that this receptor serves several functions. 1) It mediates hyperalgesia due to EP11 receptors located in the central nervous system but suppresses pain perception due to E1 located on dorsal root ganglianeurons in rats. Thus, PGE2 causes increased pain perception when administered into the central nervous system but inhibits pain perception when administered systemically; 2) It promotes colon cancer development in Azoxymethane-induced and APCgene knockout mice. 3) It promotes hypertension in diabetic mice and spontaneously hypertensive rats. 4) It suppresses stress-induced impulsive behavior and social dysfunction in mice by suppressing the activation of Dopamine receptor D1 and Dopamine receptor D2 signaling. 5) It enhances the differentiation of uncommitted T cell lymphocytes to the Th1 cellphenotype and may thereby favor the development of inflammatory rather than allergic responses to immune stimulation in rodents. Studies with human cells indicate that EP1 serves a similar function on T cells. 6) It may reduce expression of Sodium-glucose transport proteins in the apical membrane or cells of the intestinal mucosa in rodents.7) It may be differentially involved in etiology of acute brain injuries. Pharmacological inhibition or genetic deletion of EP1 receptor produce either beneficial of deleterious effects in rodent models of neurological disorders such as ischemic stroke,epileptic seizure, surgically induced brain injury and traumatic brain injury.
EP1 receptor antagonists have been studied clinically primarily to treat hyperalgesia. Numerous EP antagonists have been developed including SC51332, GW-848687X, a benzofuran-containing drug that have had some efficacy in treating various hyperalgesic syndromes in animal models. None have as yet been reported to be useful in humans.
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