A tale of switched functions: From cyclooxygenase inhibition to M-channel modulation in new diphenylamine derivatives

Asher Peretz, Nurit Degani-Katzav, Maya Talmon, Eyal Danieli, Anna Gopin, Eti Malka, Rachel Nachman, Amiram Raz, Doron Shabat, Bernard Attali*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cyclooxygenase (COX) enzymes are molecular targets of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), the most used medication worldwide. However, the COX enzymes are not the sole molecular targets of NSAIDs. Recently, we showed that two NSAIDs, diclofenac and meclofenamate, also act as openers of Kv7.2/3 K+ channels underlying the neuronal M-current. Here we designed new derivatives of cliphenylamine carboxylate to dissociate the M-channel opener property from CDX inhibition. The carboxylate moiety was derivatized into amides or esters and linked to various alkyl and ether chains. Powerful M-channel openers were generated, provided that the diphenylamine moiety and a terminal hydroxyl group are preserved. In transfected CHO cells, they activated recombinant Kv7.2/3 K+ channels, causing a hyperpolarizing shift of current activation as measured by whole-cell patch-clamp recording. In sensory dorsal root ganglion and hippocampal neurons, the openers hyperpolarized the membrane potential and robustly depressed evoked spike discharges. They also decreased hippocampal glutamate and GABA release by reducing the frequency of spontaneous excitatory and inhibitory post-synaptic currents. In vivo, the openers exhibited anti-convulsant activity, as measured in mice by the maximal electroshock seizure model. Conversion of the carboxytate function into amide abolished COX inhibition but preserved M-channel modulation. Remarkably, the very same template let us generating potent M-channel blockers. Our results reveal a new and crucial determinant of NSAID-mediated COX inhibition. They also provide a structural framework for designing novel M-channel modulators, including openers and blockers.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1332
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number12
StatePublished - 26 Dec 2007


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