- Most malaria deaths are caused by the protozoan parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Its life cycle is regulated by a cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PfPKG), whose inhibition is a promising antimalaria strategy. Allosteric kinase inhibitors, such as cGMP analogs, offer enhanced selectivity relative to competitive kinase inhibitors. However, the mechanisms underlying allosteric PfPKG inhibition are incompletely understood. Here, we show that 8-NBD-cGMP is an effective PfPKG antagonist. Using comparative NMR analyses of a key regulatory domain, PfD, in its apo, cGMP-bound, and cGMP analog–bound states, we elucidated its inhibition mechanism of action.
- Activation of protein kinase G (PKG) Iα in nociceptive neurons induces long-term hyperexcitability that causes chronic pain. Recently, a derivative of the fungal metabolite balanol, N46, has been reported to inhibit PKG Iα with high potency and selectivity and attenuate thermal hyperalgesia and osteoarthritic pain. Here we determined co-crystal structures of the PKG Iα C-domain and cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) Cα, each bound with N46, at 1.98 Å and 2.65 Å, respectively. N46 binds the active site with its external phenyl ring, specifically interacting with the glycine-rich loop and the αC helix.
- Membrane-bound cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG) II is a key regulator of bone growth, renin secretion, and memory formation. Despite its crucial physiological roles, little is known about its cyclic nucleotide selectivity mechanism due to a lack of structural information. Here, we find that the C-terminal cyclic nucleotide binding (CNB-B) domain of PKG II binds cGMP with higher affinity and selectivity when compared with its N-terminal CNB (CNB-A) domain. To understand the structural basis of cGMP selectivity, we solved co-crystal structures of the CNB domains with cyclic nucleotides.
- Background: Protein kinase G (PKG) is selectively activated by cGMP, but the mechanism of cGMP-versus-cAMP selectivity is not fully understood.Results: cAMP-bound PKG exists in a dynamic exchange between three states, inactive, active, and a partially autoinhibited state, which results in partial agonism.Conclusion: Partial agonism contributes to cGMP-versus-cAMP selectivity.Significance: The cGMP-versus-cAMP selectivity controls the cross-talk between cGMP- and cAMP-dependent signaling pathways.