Binding of Mazindol and Analogs to the human Serotonin and Dopamine Transporters

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Mazindol has been explored as a possible agent in cocaine addiction pharmacotherapy. The tricyclic compound inhibits both the dopamine transporter and the serotonin transporter and simple chemical modifications alters target selectivity considerably. Mazindol is therefore an attractive scaffold for both understanding the molecular determinants of serotonin/dopamine transporter selectivity and for the development of novel drug abuse treatments. Using molecular modeling and pharmacological profiling of rationally chosen serotonin and dopamine transporter mutants with respect to a series of mazindol analogues has allowed us to determine the orientation of mazindol within the central binding site. We find that mazindol binds in the central substrate binding site, and that the transporter selectivity can be modulated through mutations of a few residues in the binding pocket. Mazindol is most likely to bind as the S-enantiomer. Tyrosines 95 and 175 in the human serotonin transporter and the corresponding phenylalanines 75 and 155 in the human dopamine transporter are the primary determinants of mazindol selectivity. Manipulating the interaction of substituents on the 7-position with the human serotonin transporter Tyr175 / dopamine transporter Phe155 is found to be a strong tool in tuning the selectivity of mazindol analogs and may be utilized in future drug design of cocaine abuse pharmacotherapies.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMolecular Pharmacology
Pages (from-to)208-17
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014

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