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Approaches to the Design of Selective Ligands for Membrane Progesterone Receptor Alpha

O. V. Lisanova1, T. A. Shchelkunova1, I. A. Morozov2, P. M. Rubtsov2, I. S. Levina3, L. E. Kulikova3, and A. N. Smirnov1*

1Biological Faculty, Lomonosov Moscow State University, 119899 Moscow, Russia; fax: (495) 939-4309; E-mail: smirnov__an@mail.ru

2Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology, Russian Academy of Sciences, ul. Vavilova 32, 119991 Moscow, Russia; fax: (499) 135-1405; E-mail: rubtsov@eimb.ru

3Zelinsky Institute of Organic Chemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, Leninsky pr. 47, 117913 Moscow, Russia; fax: (499) 135-5328; E-mail: li@ioc.ac.ru

* To whom correspondence should be addressed.

Received September 20, 2012; Revision received November 2, 2012
A number of progesterone derivatives were assayed in terms of their affinity for recombinant human membrane progesterone receptor alpha (mPRα) in comparison with nuclear progesterone receptor (nPR). The 16α,17α-cycloalkane group diminished an affinity of steroids for mPRα without significant influence on affinity for nPR, thus rendering a prominent selectivity of ligands for nPR. On the contrary, substitution of methyl at C10 for ethyl or methoxy group moderately increased the affinity for mPRα and significantly lowered the affinity for nPR. A similar but even more prominent effect was observed upon substitution of the 3-oxo group for the 3-O-methoxyimino group. A significant preference towards mPRα was also rendered by the 17α-hydroxy group and additional C6–C7-double bond. The data suggest that the modes of ligand interaction with mPRα and nPR in the C3 region of the steroid molecule are different. One can speculate that combination of the above substitutions at C17, C10, C6, and C3 may give ligand(s) with high specificity towards mPRα over nPR.
KEY WORDS: membrane progesterone receptor alpha, steroid ligand binding, selectivity

DOI: 10.1134/S0006297913030048