Identification of tetracycline combinations as EphB1 tyrosine kinase inhibitors for treatment of neuropathic pain

Mahmoud S. Ahmed, Ping Wang, Ngoc Uyen Nhi Nguyen, Yuji Nakada, Ivan Menendez-Montes, Muhammad Ismail, Robert Bachoo, Mark Henkemeyer, Hesham A. Sadek, Enas S. Kandil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Previous studies have demonstrated that the synaptic EphB1 receptor tyrosine kinase is a major mediator of neuropathic pain, suggesting that targeting the activity of this receptor might be a viable therapeutic option. Therefore, we set out to determine if any FDA-approved drugs can act as inhibitors of the EphB1 intracellular catalytic domain. An in silico screen was first used to identify a number of tetracycline antibiotics which demonstrated potential docking to the ATP-binding catalytic domain of EphB1. Kinase assays showed that demeclocycline, chlortetracycline, and minocycline inhibit EphB1 kinase activity at low micromolar concentrations. In addition, we cocrystallized chlortetracycline and EphB1 receptor, which confirmed its binding to the ATP-binding domain. Finally, in vivo administration of the three-tetracycline combination inhibited the phosphorylation of EphB1 in the brain, spinal cord, and dorsal root ganglion (DRG) and effectively blocked neuropathic pain in mice. These results indicate that demeclocycline, chlortetracycline, and minocycline can be repurposed for treatment of neuropathic pain and potentially for other indications that would benefit from inhibition of EphB1 receptor kinase activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2016265118
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume118
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 9 2021

Keywords

  • Crystallography
  • Drug repurposing
  • EphB receptor
  • Neuropathic pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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