(19)
(11)EP 3 536 783 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION
published in accordance with Art. 153(4) EPC

(43)Date of publication:
11.09.2019 Bulletin 2019/37

(21)Application number: 17868219.1

(22)Date of filing:  01.11.2017
(51)Int. Cl.: 
C12N 15/09  (2006.01)
C12N 5/10  (2006.01)
G01N 33/15  (2006.01)
C12M 1/34  (2006.01)
C12Q 1/02  (2006.01)
G01N 33/50  (2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/JP2017/039641
(87)International publication number:
WO 2018/084221 (11.05.2018 Gazette  2018/19)
(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR
Designated Extension States:
BA ME
Designated Validation States:
MA MD

(30)Priority: 01.11.2016 JP 2016214685

(71)Applicants:
  • Public University Corporation Nagoya City University
    Nagoya-shi, Aichi 467-8601 (JP)
  • Channelosearch Technology
    Nagoya-shi, Aichi 467-0027 (JP)

(72)Inventors:
  • IMAIZUMI, Yuji
    Nagoya-shi Aichi 467-8603 (JP)
  • YAMAMURA, Hisao
    Nagoya-shi Aichi 467-8603 (JP)
  • SUZUKI, Yoshiaki
    Nagoya-shi Aichi 467-8603 (JP)
  • KAWASAKI, Keisuke
    Nagoya-shi Aichi 467-8603 (JP)
  • NARITA, Hiroshi
    Saitama-shi Saitama 336-0963 (JP)

(74)Representative: J A Kemp 
14 South Square Gray's Inn
London WC1R 5JJ
London WC1R 5JJ (GB)

  


(54)MATERIAL FOR SCREENING COMPOUNDS ACTING ON ION CHANNELS AND USE OF SAID MATERIAL


(57) The screening system disclosed in the present specification is provided with a potential-dependent Na ion channel that extends the duration of the action potential associated with depolarization, and a K ion channel that deepens the resting membrane potential in the negative direction, said screening system furthermore including cells provided with ion channels that contribute to deepening the resting membrane potential in the negative direction and/or shortening the duration of the action potential as target ion channels. By such cells, the action of a test compound on the target ion channel can be easily evaluated by providing an inhibitor for the K ion channel to control the probability of cell death.




Description

Technical Field



[0001] The present Description relates to a material for screening for compounds that act on ion channels and to the use of this screening material.

Background Art



[0002] Ion channels have physiologically important functions. The discovery of agonists and inhibitors that act on ion channels by targeting these ions channels is expected to provide useful drugs. A known example of a method for evaluating screening systems for drugs targeting such ion channels, for example, voltage-dependent ion channels, is a fluorescent membrane potential measurement method that detects changes in a membrane potential in cells with a voltage-dependent fluorescent dye (Patent Literature 1).

[0003] In addition, the present inventors have already disclosed a novel screening system with an improved method for detecting membrane potential (Patent Literature 2). This screening system uses a transformant (screening material) constructed by the introduction of a Na+ ion channel (referred to simply as a Na ion channel in the following) and a K+ ion channel (referred to simply as a K ion channel in the following) so as to have a cell death induction system whereby the transformant is viable in the normal state, while cell death is induced once cell depolarization is induced. One type of screening using this screening material is screening for inhibitors for a target ion channel using a depolarization stimulus. In this screening, for example, a target ion channel is introduced into and expressed by this screening material, and this screening material is then exposed to a test compound and a depolarization-inducing electrical stimulus. When the cell death of this screening material is inhibited, the test compound can be regarded as a candidate inhibitor of the target ion channel.

Citation List



[0004] 

Patent Literature 1: Japanese Patent Application Laid-open No. 2006-126073

Patent Literature 2: WO 2012/002460


Summary



[0005] However, even with the screening method according to Patent Literature 2, the screening of a test compound against a target ion channel frequently requires a process of applying an electrical stimulus in order to induce cellular depolarization. A non-general purpose electrical stimulation device is required to apply the electrical stimulation and also causes the process to be complex. The electrical stimulation process for applying depolarization thus requires both time and effort. There is therefore demand for the establishment of a screening system that may be advantageously applied to efficient large-scale screening and to primary screening.

[0006] The present Description provides a screening method that brings about a substantial improvement in the screening efficiency of a screening material that is equipped with a cell death induction system in which cell death is induced by the induction of depolarization. Use of this screening method is also provided.

Solution to Technical Problem



[0007] The present inventors focused on the K ion channel, which is one of the elements associated with the induction of depolarization, in screening systems that use a screening material provided with a cell death induction system, and focused on inwardly rectifying K ion channels in particular. This K ion channel, in previous screening materials provided with a cell death induction system, has deepened a resting membrane potential in the negative direction and has ensured cell survival by inhibiting, in the normal state. action in the direction of cell death by a voltage-dependent Na ion channel that prolongs the duration of a depolarization-induced action potential.

[0008] The present inventors discovered that, by supplying an inhibitor that exhibits a specific inhibitory action on this K ion channel, depolarization can be induced and cell death can be induced. The present inventors also discovered that, even in the presence of a K ion channel inhibitor, cell death can be suppressed in a steady state in which hyperpolarization is maintained and depolarization is not induced, by expressing as a target ion channel an ion channel that drives the resting membrane potential of the screening material in the negative direction, or by expressing as the target ion channel an ion channel that contributes to shortening the duration of the action potential. The present inventors additionally discovered that when the state of the target ion channel is changed, e.g., by supplying an agonist or inhibitor for the target ion channel in this screening material, the intracellular ionic environment changes and maintenance of hyperpolarization or induction of depolarization is produced, and these results can be detected as cell survival or cell death. respectively. The present Description provides the following based on this knowledge.
  1. (1) A screening material for agonists or inhibitors for a target ion channel, wherein the screening material contains cells provided with
    a voltage-dependent Na ion channel that prolongs the duration of an action potential associated with depolarization,
    a K ion channel that deepens a resting membrane potential in the negative direction, and
    a target ion channel that is an ion channel that contributes to deepening the resting membrane potential in the negative direction and/or that shortens the duration of the action potential associated with depolarization,
    wherein the Na ion channel, the K ion channel, and the target ion channel constitute a cell death induction system with which cell death is induced by the induction of depolarization in the presence of an inhibitor for the K ion channel.
  2. (2) The screening material according to (1), wherein the target ion channel has an inhibitory action on the cell death induced by the cell death induction system.
  3. (3) The screening material according to (1) or (2), that uses a selective inhibitor of the K ion channel.
  4. (4) The screening material according to (3), wherein the target ion channel has a lower sensitivity to the K ion channel inhibitor than the K ion channel.
  5. (5) The screening material according to any of (1) to (4), wherein the target ion channel is an ion channel that contributes to deepening the resting membrane potential in the negative direction and is another K ion channel that is different from the aforementioned K ion channel.
  6. (6) The screening material according to (5), wherein the another K ion channel is a K2P channel.
  7. (7) The screening material according to any of (1) to (6), wherein the target ion channel is an ion channel that contributes to a shortening of the duration of the action potential associated with depolarization.
  8. (8) A method for screening for an agonist or inhibitor of a target ion channel, wherein the method
    uses cells provided with a voltage-dependent Na ion channel that prolongs the duration of an action potential associated with depolarization, a K ion channel that deepens the resting membrane potential in the negative direction, and a target ion channel that is an ion channel that contributes to deepening the resting membrane potential in the negative direction and/or that shortens the duration of the action potential associated with depolarization, wherein the Na ion channel, the K ion channel, and the target ion channel constitute a cell death induction system with which cell death is induced by the induction of depolarization in the presence of an inhibitor for the K ion channel,
    and is provided with
    a step of supplying the inhibitor to the cells;
    a step of supplying the cells with a test compound having the potential to inhibit or activate the target ion channel; and
    a step of evaluating the effect on cell death of the cells due to the supply of the test compound.
  9. (9) A kit for screening for an agonist or inhibitor of a target ion channel, the kit being provided with
    cells provided with a voltage-dependent Na ion channel that prolongs the duration of an action potential associated with depolarization, a K ion channel that deepens the resting membrane potential in the negative direction, and a target ion channel that is an ion channel that contributes to deepening the resting membrane potential in the negative direction and/or that shortens the duration of the action potential associated with depolarization, wherein the Na ion channel, the K ion channel, and the target ion channel constitute a cell death induction system with which cell death is induced by the induction of depolarization in the presence of an inhibitor for the K ion channel, and
    the inhibitor.

Brief Description of Drawings



[0009] 

FIG. 1 is a drawing that shows an overview of a screening material disclosed in the present Description:

FIG. 2 is a drawing that shows the action, in accordance with the screening art disclosed in the present Description, of an opener (agonist) and a blocker (inhibitor) on the target ion channel, for example, a 4-pass transmembrane and 2-pore K ion channel (K2P channel);

FIG. 3 is a diagram that shows K2P channels that are related to various diseases. The ion channels given in italics indicate ion channels for which an inhibitor (blocker) provides a drug effective for treatment, while ion channels not given in italics indicate ion channels for which an agonist (opener) provides a drug effective for treatment;

FIG. 4 is a diagram that shows the results of an evaluation of the action of the Ba2+ ion (referred to below simply as the Ba ion) on K2P channel-nonexpressing cells;

FIG. 5 is a diagram that shows an example of the production of a K ion channel mutant that has a high Ba ion sensitivity;

FIG. 6 is a diagram that shows, for cells that express TREK-1 (one type of K2P channel), cell death due to a TREK-1 inhibitor in the presence of the Ba ion and the temperature dependence of TREK-1;

FIG. 7 is a diagram that shows dose-response curves for PK-THPP and ML365, which are TASK-1 and TASK-3 inhibitors, for cells expressing TASK-1 or TASK-3 (both are a type of K2P channels);

FIG. 8 is a diagram that shows the inhibition of Ba ion-inducible cell death in cells expressing TASK-3 (one type of K2P channel); and

FIG. 9 is a diagram that shows the action of activators (DCEBIO, NS309) and inhibitors to the SK channel on cells expressing SK2 and cells expressing SK4.


Description of Embodiments



[0010] The present Description relates to a screening material targeted to ion channels. The present Description more specifically relates to a screening material comprising cells that can be used to screen for compounds that act on ion channels (membrane transport proteins), to a screening method that uses this material, and to a screening kit.

[0011] For screening in which the indicator is cell death brought about by an agent for a target ion channel, a system must be constructed in which survival occurs in the steady state in which depolarization is not induced, while cell death is achieved when depolarization is induced. Electrical stimulation is required in order to induce depolarization in the cell death induction system-equipped cells already disclosed by the present inventors, i.e., cells in which the duration of the depolarization-induced action potential is prolonged, but which, in a state in which depolarization is not being induced, are rendered viable by a deepening of the membrane potential in the negative direction.

[0012] The present inventors have now discovered for the first time that the cell death induction system itself possessed by these cells can also be used as a system that can induce depolarization. In other words, the present inventors have discovered that a mechanism that can control depolarization and cell death without an electrical stimulus can be made inherent in the previous cell death induction system itself. The present inventors have additionally discovered that, by using as the target ion channel an ion channel that enables a suppression of depolarization not induced by electrical stimulation, a novel cell death induction system (evaluation system) can be constructed that enables the facile evaluation of the action of a test compound on this type of target ion channel (also referred to in the following as an inhibitory target ion channel). An overview of the present screening material is shown in FIG. 1.

[0013] FIG. 1 shows, for the present screening material, a system in which survival occurs in the steady state where depolarization is not induced, while cell death is achieved when depolarization is induced. As shown in FIG. 1, the present screening material is provided with a Na ion channel that prolongs the duration of the action potential generated in association with depolarization, and with a K ion channel that deepens the resting membrane potential. The present screening material is also provided with an inhibitory target ion channel, which is an ion channel that contributes to deepening the resting membrane potential in the negative direction and/or to shortening the duration of the action potential associated with depolarization. This Na ion channel. K ion channel, and inhibitory target ion channel constitute a cell death induction system in which cell death is induced in the presence of an inhibitor of the K ion channel by the induction of depolarization, i.e., constitute an evaluation system for evaluating action on the inhibitory target ion channel in the presence of an inhibitor of the K ion channel.

[0014] In FIG. 1, for example. Nav 1.5 IFM/QQQ is used for the Na ion channel; Kir 2 is used for the K ion channel; and a K2P ion channel is used for the inhibitory target ion channel.

[0015] In this screening material, through the action on the K ion channel of an agent that inhibits the K ion channel, for example, the Ba ion, the action of the K ion channel in the direction of deepening the resting membrane potential is inhibited, the induction of depolarization is facilitated, and the screening material is strongly biased toward cell death. On the other hand, through the expression of an inhibitory target ion channel that inherently acts to inhibit the depolarization due to this inhibitor, the inhibitor-induced depolarization is suppressed and the cell death bias of the screening material is also suppressed. The cells are viable as a result. Here. when an agent that inhibits the action of the inhibitory target ion channel, for example, an inhibitor (blocker), is supplied to the screening material, the inhibitory bias on cell death exercised by the inhibitory target ion channel is then suppressed and a strong bias toward cell death is established for the screening material and cell death is induced. In addition, when an agent that promotes the action of the target ion channel, for example, an agonist (opener), is supplied, the inhibitory bias on cell death by the inhibitory target ion channel is either retained or promoted, and as a consequence cell death is not induced in the screening material.

[0016] FIG. 2 shows a comparison of the present screening material, which is provided with a Na ion channel, a K ion channel, and an inhibitory target ion channel, with cells provided with a Na ion channel and a K ion channel, with regard to the action of an opener (agonist) and a blocker (inhibitor) on the inhibitory target ion channel, for example, a K2P channel.

[0017] As shown in FIG. 2. when an inhibitor of the K ion channel is supplied to a cell not provided with an inhibitory target ion channel, an ion channel that exercises inhibitory control on depolarization is either not present or exhibits a low activity, and as a consequence the resting membrane potential of the cell membrane is no longer maintained and depolarization is induced and cell death is thereby induced.

[0018] When, on the other hand, an opener (agonist) for the inhibitory target ion channel is supplied in the presence of the K ion channel inhibitor to the present screening material, which is constituted of cells provided with the inhibitory target ion channel, activation of the inhibitory target ion channel results in maintenance of the resting membrane potential of the cell membrane, or changes it in the direction of hyperpolarization, and as a consequence depolarization is not induced, cell death is not induced, and the cell survives. In contrast to this, when a blocker (inhibitor) for the inhibitory target ion channel is supplied, the inhibitory bias on cell death due to the inhibitory target ion channel is cancelled, a strong bias for cell death is established in the screening material, and cell death is induced.

[0019] Thus, for the screening material shown in FIG. 2. the fate of the cell, i.e., cell survival/cell death, is ultimately determined by whether, or to what degree, the resting membrane potential is maintained.

[0020] Thus, the present screening material disclosed in the present Description is provided with a Na ion channel and a K ion channel that constitute a cell death induction system, but is also provided with a target ion channel that exercises an inhibitory action on the depolarization in this induction system. As a consequence, using the induction of depolarization brought about by supplying the cells with an inhibitor of the K ion channel, the action of an agent on the inhibitory target ion channel can be evaluated and screening for inhibitors or agonists can then be carried out.

[0021] The preceding description concerns the use, for the inhibitory target ion channel, of an ion channel that deepens the resting membrane potential in the negative direction; however, the inhibitory target ion channel also includes ion channels that shorten the duration of the action potential associated with depolarization. That is, the screening material may also be provided with an inhibitory target ion channel in the form of an ion channel that shortens the duration of the action potential associated with depolarization. Ion channels that deepen the resting membrane potential in the negative direction are at the same time also ion channels that shorten the duration of the action potential associated with depolarization. When an opener (agonist) for the inhibitory target ion channel is supplied to screening material provided with an inhibitory target ion channel in the form of an ion channel that shortens the duration of the action potential associated with depolarization, the shortening of the duration of the action potential is maintained and cell death is again not induced and the cell survives. When, on the other hand, a blocker (inhibitor) for the inhibitory target ion channel is supplied, shortening of the duration of the action potential is then no longer maintained by the inhibitory target ion channel, and the duration is either maintained or prolonged and cell death is induced.

[0022] Thus, for this screening material, the fate of the cell, i.e., cell survival/cell death, is ultimately determined by whether, or to what degree, the duration of the action potential is shortened.

[0023] With the screening material disclosed in the present Description, the cell death percentage in the screening material can be adjusted using the concentration of the inhibitor for the K ion channel. As a consequence, for example, by causing an inhibitor to be present at an inhibition ratio at which 50% of the cells die and supplying a test compound to the screening material, the test compound can be evaluated qualitatively and quantitatively as both an opener (agonist) or blocker (inhibitor) for the target ion channel.

[0024] The screening material disclosed in the present Description enables an efficient screening by providing an evaluation system that is constructed to contain a target ion channel and that uses a K ion channel inhibitor and the action on this target ion channel.

[0025] Typical and non-limiting specific examples of the disclosures of the Description are explained in detail below with reference to the drawings. These detailed explanations are aimed simply at showing preferred examples of the disclosures of the Description in detail so that they can be implemented by a person skilled in the art, and are not intended to limit the scope of the disclosures of the Description. The additional features and disclosures disclosed below may be used separately or together with other features and inventions to provide a further improved material for screening for compounds that act on ion channels and to the use of this screening material.

[0026] The combinations of features and steps disclosed in the detailed explanations below are not essential for implementing the disclosures of the Description in the broadest sense, and are presented only for purposes of explaining typical examples of the disclosures of the Description in particular. Moreover, the various features of the typical examples above and below and the various features described in the independent and dependent claims do not have to be combined in the same way as in the specific examples described here, or in the listed order, when providing addition useful embodiments of the disclosures of the Description.

[0027] All features described in the Description and/or Claims are intended as individual and independent disclosures restricting the initial disclosures and the claimed matter specifying the invention, separately from the constitution of features described in the Examples and/or Claims. Moreover, all descriptions of numerical ranges and groups or sets are intended to include intermediate configurations for purposes of restricting the initial disclosures and the claimed matter specifying the invention.

[0028] In the present Description, an ion channel agonist refers to an agent (e.g., a compound or protein) that maintains or promotes the intrinsic function of an ion channel of interest. In addition, an ion channel inhibitor refers to an agent (e.g., a compound or a preparation of biological origin) that at least partially inhibits the intrinsic function of an ion channel of interest.

[0029] (Screening Material) The present screening material is provided with a voltage-dependent Na ion channel that prolongs the duration of the action potential associated with depolarization. The present screening material is also provided with a K ion channel that deepens the resting membrane potential in the negative direction. The present screening material is further provided with a target ion channel that is an ion channel that contributes to deepening the resting membrane potential in the negative direction and/or that shortens the duration of the action potential associated with depolarization.

[0030] There are no particular limitations on the cells in the present screening material provided they can be used for ion channel screening, and various types of animal and plant cells can be used. Examples of animal cells include mammalian cells and insect cells, although there are no particular limitations thereon. In the case of cells other than human cells, such as bovine, porcine, equine, ovine, goat, avian, canine, feline, or rabbit cells, screening material used to screen for drugs for the prevention or treatment of diseases in these animals can be acquired. When the host is an insect cell, screening material used to screen, e.g., pesticides targeted to insects, can be acquired. When plant cells are used for the cells, screening material used to screen, e.g., agricultural chemicals, can be acquired. Examples of animal cells that are typically used include human embryonic kidney cells (HEK cells). African green monkey cells (COS cells), Chinese hamster ovary cells (CHO cells), baby hamster kidney cells (BHK cells), and African clawed frog oocytes. Cultured cells derived from various tissue types may also be used.

[0031] (Na Ion Channel) The Na ion channel provided in the present screening material is a voltage-dependent Na ion channel that prolongs the duration of the action potential associated with depolarization. In other words, this Na ion channel may also be referred to as a deactivation-inhibited Na ion channel.

[0032] Here, the voltage-dependent Na ion channel is a protein on the cell membrane that mediates passive diffusion of the Na ion by a cell membrane potential-dependent opening. There are no particular limitations on the voltage-dependent Na ion channel used in the present Description and various known voltage-dependent Na ion channels can be used; however, a Nav 1.5 channel is preferred. The Nav 1.5 channel is distributed in, e.g., myocardial cells, and is thought to be involved with generation of the action potential and the conduction of excitation.

[0033] A voltage-dependent Na ion channel exhibits Na ion permeability by a gate opening that depends on the membrane potential, after which a deactivation mechanism operates and the Na ion permeability is lost (deactivation). In contrast, this deactivation mechanism is inhibited (lost) in a deactivation-inhibited voltage-dependent Na ion channel. That is, a deactivation-inhibited voltage-dependent Na ion channel refers to a Na ion channel in which this deactivation is not produced after the appearance of the ion permeability due to membrane potential-dependent gate opening. With a deactivation-inhibited voltage-dependent Na ion channel, when the ion channel itself is activated by the induction of depolarization in the cell membrane, the ion channel opens and a state is assumed that can mediate passive diffusion of the Na ion; however, because deactivation of the ion channel itself has been inhibited, the open state of the ion channel is maintained. As a result, with a deactivation-inhibited voltage-dependent Na ion channel, when stimulation has been received and once an action potential has been generated, deactivation of the ion channel is delayed and as a consequence the action potential continues for longer than for the original voltage-dependent Na ion channel.

[0034] In addition, a deactivation-inhibited Na ion channel is either constantly easily activated or is easily activated at a relatively deep resting membrane potential (the so-called window current is large). Thus, in cells expressing such a Na ion channel, the influx of excess Na ion can be prevented only when the resting membrane potential is maintained at a sufficiently deep negative potential. In cells that adequately express such a voltage-dependent Na ion channel, Na ion channel activation is easily increased by depolarization and the action potential or depolarization is maintained for about 1 minute or more, preferably 2 minutes or more, more preferably 3 minutes or more, and even more preferably 5 minutes or more. As a consequence, an excess Na influx into the cell is produced and causes cell death.

[0035] This inhibition of deactivation can be suitably realized by inserting an amino acid mutation into the amino acid sequence of a voltage-dependent Na ion channel. Several specific techniques have been disclosed for inhibiting deactivation of the Nav 1.5 channel. Examples of reported techniques include modifying the IFM motif (Grant et al., Biophys. J., 79:3019-3035, 2000), mutation of the asparagine at position 406 to glutamic acid, arginine, or lysine (McNulty et al., Mol. Pharmacol.. 70:1514-1523, 2006), deletion of a linker site containing an IFM motif that connects domains III and IV (Patton et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 89:10905-10909, 1992, West et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 89:10910-10914, 1992), and mutation of an amino acid of segment 4 of domain IV (Chen et al., J. Gen. Physiol., 108:549-556, 1996). Insertion of a mutation into an amino acid sequence can be suitably carried out by a person having ordinary skill in the art based on these documents and common general technical knowledge.

[0036] The present screening material preferably expressibly retains DNA (also referred to as a first DNA in the following) that encodes such a Na ion channel (natural protein or mutant protein). The present screening material may constantly or transiently express this mutant, i.e.. the deactivation-inhibited voltage-dependent Na ion channel. In other words, this DNA may be incorporated in a chromosome so as to be transmitted to a daughter cell, or may be incorporated in a plasmid that is autonomously amplified extrachromosomally and is not necessarily transmitted to a daughter cell. The DNA is preferably linked under the control of a constantly active promoter (constitutive promoter). This screening material can be suitably acquired as constantly expressing cells or transiently expressing cells by constructing, e.g., a DNA-containing expression vector and then inserting same into and transforming a screening material host based on genetic engineering technology and transformant production technology commonly known among persons having ordinary skill in the art.

[0037] In addition, the amount of expression for the Na ion channel can be adjusted by controlling, e.g., the type of control region, e.g., promoter and so forth, that controls the first DNA, the number of first DNA-containing expression cassettes inserted, and the cell culture conditions post-insertion.

[0038] Furthermore, in the case that the voltage-dependent Na ion channel is composed of two or more subunits, and when subunits containing mutations effective for deactivation only constitute a portion of the entirety thereof, DNA respectively encoding those subunits can be expressed in the screening material in the form of one or two or more DNAs, or DNA encoding these subunits may be respectively and expressibly retained as DNA such that other subunits composing the Na ion channel are simultaneously co-expressed. Moreover, if there are. e.g.. enzymes, other proteins, compounds, and so forth required for the expressed deactivation-inhibited voltage-dependent Na ion channel to function more effectively, these substances may also be suitably expressed or supplied.

(K Ion Channel That Deepens Resting Membrane Potential in Negative Direction)



[0039] The K ion channel placed in the present screening material is an ion channel that exhibits the function (activity) of deepening the resting membrane potential in the negative direction, i.e., of making the potential more negative. That is, a deep resting membrane potential can be formed due to an enhanced K ion permeability brought about by the expression and activity of this K ion channel. When the aforementioned Na ion channel is provided, a state is assumed in which, due to the intra-versus-extracellular concentration difference for the Na ion. excess Na ion flows into the cell, ultimately resulting in the intracellular Na ion concentration increasing and cell death. In order to use the cells as a screening material, the cells must be viable until this cell death induction system is induced. A K ion channel that deepens the resting membrane potential in the negative direction is therefore used in order to deepen (lower) the resting membrane potential.

[0040] The resting membrane potential is preferably deepened in the negative direction to a degree that does not affect cell viability. The membrane potential is preferably -50 mV, more preferably -60 mV, even more preferably about -70 mV, and still more preferably about -80 mV.

[0041] Such a K ion channel may be, for example, a state in which an inwardly rectifying K ion channel (Kir channel) or a 4-pass transmembrane and 2-pore K ion channel (K2P channel) is activated. There are various types of 4-pass transmembrane and 2-pore K ion channels (K2P channels) having different properties, and these are classified into, for example, TWIK, TREK, TASK, TALK, THIK, TRESK, and so forth. These ion channels exhibit almost no dependence on potential or time and thus function as leak channels. Based on their properties as leak channels, these K ion channels function to maintain (fix) the resting membrane potential of the cell.

[0042] Although there are no particular limitations on the inwardly rectifying K ion channel, examples include various types of Kir 2x channels such as Kir 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, and 2.4. Kir 2.1 is an inwardly rectifying K ion channel (Kir channel) that has a 2-pass transmembrane structure. This channel is not dependent on voltage and its membrane potential has the property of approaching around -80 mV, which is the K ion equilibrium potential. This channel is expressed in nerves and heart and skeletal muscle and carries out the formation of the resting membrane potential along with its stabilization and maintenance. Kir 2.2 is, like Kir 2.1. an inwardly rectifying K ion channel (Kir channel), but has a more potent inward rectification than Kir 2.1. It is expressed with Kir 2.1 in, e.g., the heart and brain and skeletal muscle, and plays a leading role in inwardly rectifying K ion channel (Kir channel) activity in human vascular endothelial cells. In addition, Kir 2.2 is advantageous for the present screening material in that it is selectively inhibited by, for example, the Ba ion as described below.

[0043] The Kir 2.x ion channels are described in, for example, Circ. Res. 94:1332-1339 (2004) and Am. J. Physiol. Cell Physiol. 289:C1134-C1144 (2005). Examples of base sequences for genes encoding human-derived Kir 2.x channels include Kir 2.1 (GenBank Accession No. U12507, NM#000891(Human KCNJ2)), Kir 2.2 (GenBank Accession No. AB074970, NM#021012 (Human KCNJ12)), Kir 2.3 (GenBank Accession No. U07364. U24056, NM#152868 (Human KCNJ4)), and Kir 2.4 (GenBank Accession No. AF081466 NM#013348 (Human KCNJ14)).

[0044] The G protein-coupled inwardly rectifying K ion channel (GIRK channel, Kir) is similarly an example. The GIRK channel (Kir 3) is an inwardly rectifying K ion channel (Kir channel) which, differing from Kir 2, is a G protein-activated K ion channel. Subunits thereof are tissue-specific, and form heterogeneous tetramers composed of Kir 3.1/Kir 3.4 in the heart and Kir 3.1/Kir 3.2 in the central nervous system. They are normally not activated and are activated by agonist stimulation. However, it has been reported according to experiments using African clawed frog oocytes that these ion channels are brought into a constantly open state by the mutation of amino acids in the transmembrane helix that forms the ion channel pores (Claydon et al., J. Biol. Chem.. 278:50654-50663, 2003). On the basis of this finding, the use of this mutant is thought to enable the formation of a deep resting membrane potential in the same manner as Kir 2.1. Examples of base sequences that encode human-derived Kir 3.x channels include Kir 3.1 (GenBank Accession No. NM#002239 (Human KCNJ3)). Kir 3.2 (GenBank Accession No. NM#002240 (Human KCNJ6)), Kir 3.3 (GenBank Accession No. NM#004983 (Human KCNJ9)), and Kir 3.4 (GenBank Accession No. NM#000890 (Human KCNJ5)).

[0045] Moreover, another example is the ATP-sensitive inwardly rectifying K ion channel (KATP channel. Kir 6). The KATP channel is an inwardly rectifying K ion channel (Kir channel) that is inhibited by ATP and activated by ADP. The KATP channel controls cell excitability in conformity to the metabolic state of the cell. The KATP channel is a heterogeneous octamer composed of four KATP channels and four sulfonylurea receptors (SUR). Although the KATP channel alone does not have a function, the KATP channel alone has been reported to have a function when the C terminal of the KATP channel is deleted (Tucker et al.. EMBO J.. 17:3290-3296. 1998). In addition, this deletion variant can be made to be constantly activated by decreasing the ATP sensitivity by the introduction of additional mutation. The use of this mutant also enables the formation of a deep resting membrane potential. Examples of base sequences encoding human-derived Kir 6.x channels include Kir 6.1 (GenBank Accession No. NM#004982 (Human KCNJ8)) and Kir 6.2 (GenBank Accession No. NM001166290 (Human KCNJ11)).

[0046] In addition, known examples of 4-pass transmembrane and 2-pore K ion channels (K2P channels) include the THIK channel (in which the membrane potential becomes deeper when expressed in HEK293 cells; Campanucci et al., Neuroscience. 135:1087-1094, 2005), the TASK2 channel (in which the resting membrane potential becomes deeper when expressed in African clawed frog oocytes; Kindler et al., J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther., 306:84-92, 2003), and the voltage-dependent K channel (the voltage-dependent K channel deepens the resting membrane potential in smooth muscle tissue; McDaniel et al., J. Appl. Physiol. (1985), 91:2322-2333, 2001).

[0047] 4-pass transmembrane and 2-pore K ion channels (K2P channels) are classified into their respective subfamilies consisting of TWIK, TREK, TASK, TALK, THIK, and TRESK. The TWIK subfamily includes the TWIK-1 and TWIK-2 channels (Lotshaw, Cell Biochem. Biophys. 47:209-256, 2007). TWIK channels are present in numerous tissues in humans. Examples of human-derived TWIK ion channels include TWIK-1 (GenBank Accession No. NM#002245 (KCNK1)) and TWIK-2 (GenBank Accession No. NM#004823 (KCNK6)).

[0048] The TREK subfamily includes the TREK-1, TREK-2, and TRAAK channels. Examples of human-derived TREK ion channels include TREK-1 (GenBank Accession No. NM#014217 (KCNK2)), TREK-2 (GenBank Accession No. NM#138317 (KCNK10)), and TRAAK (GenBank Accession No. NM#033310 (KCNK4)).

[0049] The TASK subfamily includes the TASK-1, TASK-3, and TASK-5 channels. Examples of human-derived TASK ion channels include TASK-1 (GenBank Accession No. NM#002246 (KCNK3)), TASK-3 (GenBank Accession No. NM#016601 (KCNK9)), and TASK-5 (GenBank Accession No. NM#022358 (KCNK15)).

[0050] The TALK subfamily includes the TALK-1, TALK-2, and TASK-2 channels. Examples of human-derived TALK ion channels include TALK-1 (GenBank Accession No. NM#001135106 KCNK16)), TALK-2 (GenBank Accession No. NM#001135111 (KCNK17)), and TASK-2 (GenBank Accession No. NM#003740 (KCNK5)).

[0051] The THIK subfamily includes the THIK-1 and THIK-2 channels. Examples of human-derived THIK ion channels include THIK-1 (GenBank Accession No. NM#022054 (KCNK13)) and THIK-2 (GenBank Accession No. NM#022055 (KCNK12)).

Examples of the TRESK subfamily include TRESK (GenBank Accession No. NM#181840 (KCNK18)).



[0052] In addition to these various natural K ion channels, a K ion channel mutant provided by their modification may also be used as the K ion channel. The present screening material is advantageously used in the presence of a K ion channel inhibitor. This inhibitor preferably can inhibit the K ion channel with the highest possible selectivity and at the highest possible sensitivity (at a low concentration). Accordingly, appropriate modifications may be introduced into the K ion channel in order to endow the K ion channel with a more favorable selectivity and/or sensitivity to inhibitors.

[0053] For example, in the alignment of the amino acid sequence of Kir 2.2 with the amino acid sequence of Kir 2.1 as shown in FIG. 5, it is thought that a favorable Ba ion sensitivity is obtained by substituting the Q (glutamine) in the Kir 2.2 amino acid sequence, which corresponds to E125 in Kir 2.1. with an acidic amino acid residue, e.g., E (glutamic acid) or aspartic acid (D). Various regions of Kir channel proteins, e.g., transmembrane regions, pore regions, and so forth, have already been identified (e.g., Scharm et al., Cardiovasc. Res. 59:328-338. 2003). In addition, E125 of Kir 2.1 is also already known to assist interaction between the Ba ion and Kir channels (Alagem et al., J. Physiol. 534:381-393, 2001).

[0054] Art for modifying known proteins in order to, e.g., provide or abolish a function of interest, or enhance or weaken same, is known to the person having ordinary skill in the art. With regard to a protein of interest and particularly, e.g., ion channels, it is a common task for the person having ordinary skill in the art to thoroughly research, e.g., a transmembrane region or pore region, and then identify to a certain extent suitable modifiable sites by using alignment of the protein amino acid sequences. It is also a common task for the person having ordinary skill in the art to acquire mutants considering potential amino acid residue substitutions based on the alignment data for modifiable sites and to evaluate the functionality of the mutants.

[0055] In the present screening material, one or a suitable combination of two or more of these K ion channels may be used for the purpose of deepening the resting membrane potential.

[0056] As for the Na ion channel, the present screening material preferably expressibly retains DNA (also referred to in the following as a second DNA) that encodes the aforementioned K ion channel (natural protein or mutant protein). The present screening material may constantly or transiently express a natural or mutant K ion channel. Namely, this DNA may be incorporated in a chromosome so as to be transmitted to a daughter cell, or may be incorporated in a plasmid that is autonomously amplified extrachromosomally and is not necessarily transmitted to a daughter cell. As for the first DNA. the second DNA is also preferably linked under the control of a constantly active promoter (constitutive promoter). The same embodiments as for the Na ion channel are used when the K ion channel is composed of two or more different subunits. The amount of K ion channel expression may also be adjusted in the same manner as for the first DNA.

[0057] The present screening material, because it is provided with the aforementioned Na ion channel and the aforementioned K ion channel on, e.g., the cell membrane, thus takes the form of cells that, even though they have a mutant deactivation-inhibited voltage-dependent Na ion channel, avoid the cell death caused by Na ion inflow into the cell, until depolarization is induced. Namely, while a cell death induction system is present, the cell death induction system resides in a standby state awaiting the induction of depolarization to operate.

[0058] (Inhibitory Target Ion Channel) The inhibitory target ion channel that can be incorporated in the present screening material is an ion channel that contributes to deepening the resting membrane potential in the negative direction and/or that shortens the duration of the action potential associated with depolarization. The inhibitory target ion channel can act to inhibit the induction of depolarization or induction of cell death that is brought about by an inhibitor (also referred to hereafter as a K ion channel inhibitor) that acts to inhibit the K ion channel provided in the present screening material and can thereby induce cell death by inducing depolarization in the cell death induction system. The inhibitory target ion channel can, independently of this inhibitor, inhibit the action of the inhibitor, i.e., can inhibit the induction of depolarization or the induction of cell death due to the induction of depolarization. The selection of such an ion channel makes it possible to construct an efficient system for evaluating this ion channel.

[0059] (K Ion Channel Inhibitor) The K ion channel inhibitor inhibits the action of the K ion channel and thus inhibits the deepening of the resting membrane potential in the negative direction. This inhibitor also varies, for example, with the type of K ion channel. K ion channel inhibitors may be acquired based on known information, but they may also be acquired by preparing cells that are provided with a cell death induction system containing any of various K ion channels, supplying a potential K ion channel inhibitor to these cells, and evaluating whether the induction of depolarization or the induction of cell death has occurred.

[0060] For example, the Ba ion is known to be an inhibitor of Kir 2.x. The other elements in the present evaluation system, for example, the Nav 1.5 Na ion channel or mutant thereof and K2P channel used as a target ion channel, infra, preferably have a low sensitivity to the Ba ion. More specifically, the 50% inhibitory concentration for the ion channels other than the K ion channel of the cell death induction system is preferably at least 5-times higher, more preferably at least 7-times higher, even more preferably at least 10-times higher, still more preferably at least 15-times higher, and much more preferably at least 20-times higher than the 50% inhibitory concentration for the K ion channel of the cell death induction system. By having such a selective inhibition be present, the action of a test compound on the inhibitory target ion channel can be detected and evaluated with high sensitivity. This inhibitory concentration and the like can also be measured using cells provided with the cell death induction system disclosed in the present Description.

[0061] For the inhibitory target ion channel, an ion channel is selected that, in the presence of an inhibitor of the K ion channel in the cell death induction system, can inhibit the induction of cell death by this inhibitor. A criterion for selection may be that the 50% inhibitory concentration by the K ion channel inhibitor is, for example, sufficiently higher than that for said K ion channel (also referred to hereinafter as a first K ion channel), or that the action of the inhibitor with respect to the first K ion channel can be suppressed. Besides the 50% inhibitory concentration, the presence/absence of the ability to inhibit cell death by suppressing the action of the inhibitor with respect to the first K ion channel may also be evaluated by expressing various potential target ion channels in the cell death induction system already described in the preceding.

[0062] The inhibitory target ion channel should be an ion channel that contributes to deepening the resting membrane potential in the negative direction and/or to shortening the duration of the action potential associated with depolarization, and is selected as appropriate from the various known ion channels in conformity to the type of K ion channel in the cell death induction system and/or the inhibitor used for same.

[0063] The species of ion for the inhibitory target ion channel can be exemplified by the Na ion, K ion, Ca2+ ion (referred to hereafter simply as the Ca ion), the Cl- ion (referred to hereafter simply as the Cl ion), and so forth. Examples of ion channels include voltage-dependent channels, ligand-dependent channels, mechanical stimulation-dependent channels, temperature-dependent channels, leak channels, and phosphorylation-dependent channels depending on the manner of control of the opening and closing thereof. According to the disclosure of the present Description, since action (activation or inhibition) on the inhibitory target ion channel can be detected through the survival or death of the screening material, a wide range of ion channels in general can be used as the inhibitory target ion channel. Furthermore, in the present Description, an ion channel is referred to regardless of the manner of control of the opening and closing thereof, whether it be a voltage-dependent ion channel or ligand-dependent ion channel and the like. In addition, ion channels include transporters, ion exchangers (such as Na+-Ca2+ exchangers), and ion pumps (such as Na+-K+ pumps) in biomembranes including nuclear membranes and cell membranes engaged in voltage-generating ion transport as well as other intracellular organelle membranes and the like. Through the selection of the target ion channel for the screening material, a screening material for the prevention or treatment of disease associated with said target ion channel can be provided.

[0064] The target ion channel can be exemplified first of all by various types of ion channel-integrated drug receptors. Examples of these receptors include nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, ion channel-type ATP receptors (P2X receptors), ion channel-type glutamate receptors, ion channel-type γ-aminobutyric acid (GABAA) receptors, ion channel-type glycine receptors, and type 3 serotonin receptors. In addition, other examples include various types of transient receptor potential (TRP) channels (non-selective positive ion channels). Other examples include store-operated Ca ion channels constituted of, for example, Orai and STIM molecules. In addition, other examples of target ion channels include various types of voltage-dependent ion channels. Examples thereof include all voltage-dependent Ca ion channels, all voltage-dependent K ion channels (including hERG channels), all voltage-dependent Na ion channels, and all voltage-dependent Cl ion channels. Furthermore, other examples include ligand-dependent Ca ion channels, Na ion channels, proton ion channels, K ion channels such as calcium-dependent (Ca ion-activation) K ion (KCa) channels, and Cl ion channels. Moreover, additional examples include all ion channels that open and close by sensing a stimulus such as potential, temperature, pH, tension, osmotic pressure, volume, signaling molecules, and so forth.

[0065] A target ion channel intimately related to a disease or symptoms is preferable for the target ion channel. Examples of such Na ion channels include the Nav 1.1 to 1.3 and Nav 1.5 to 1.9 ion channels. These ion channels are related to epilepsy, neuropathic pain, arrhythmia, and pain, and can be used to screen for drugs used to treat or prevent these conditions. In addition, examples of Ca ion channels include Cav 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.1, 3.2, and 3.3. These ion channels are related to cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's disease, pain, epilepsy, and hypertension, and can be used to screen for drugs used to treat or prevent these conditions. Examples of K ion channels include Kv 1.1 to 1.5, 2.1, 3.2, 4.3, 7.1 to 7.5, 10.1, 11.1 (including hERG), 12.1 to 12.3, and SK. These ion channels are related to multiple sclerosis, autoimmune diseases, pain, atrial fibrillation, diabetes, epilepsy, neuralgia, Alzheimer's disease, urinary incontinence, arrhythmia, and cancer, and can be used to screen for drugs used to treat or prevent these conditions. In addition, with regard to Cl ion channels, CLC-1, 5, 7, Ka, and Kb are related to. e.g., myotonia, kidney disease, metabolic bone disease, and hypertension, and can be used to screen for drugs used to prevent or treat these conditions.

[0066] For example, an hERG K ion channel is preferable for the target ion channel. This ion channel is one of the voltage-dependent K ion channels that has a 6-pass transmembrane structure and forms a tetramer. One of the differences between this K ion channel and other voltage-dependent K ion channels is that this K ion channel demonstrates inward rectification. This is attributable to the extremely rapid occurrence of C-type inactivation. This K ion channel also acts strongly in the repolarization phase, which is the third phase of the action potential of the heart. This K ion channel is known to be strongly involved in cancer and also arrhythmia since it has an action that causes hyperpolarization of the membrane potential in the repolarization phase. Since highly fatal long QT syndrome is induced when hERG K ion channels are inhibited, currently all types of drug candidate compounds are required to be assessed for a proarrhythmia action attributable to cardiotoxicity stemming from inhibitory action on hERG K ion channels. Consequently, a screening material having an hERG K ion channel for the target ion channel is highly useful. In the case of expression of an hERG K ion channel in the screening material, since an action potential generated by, for example, an electrical stimulus, is shortened, cell death is unlikely. By adding a compound that is known to have or suspected to have an inhibitory action on hERG K ion channels, cell death occurs more easily in the screening material depending on the degree of that inhibition, thereby making it possible to quantitatively evaluate inhibitory effects on hERG K ion channels. An example of hERG is GenBank Accession No. NM#000238.

[0067] The already described inwardly rectifying K ion channels (Kir channels), K ion channels that contribute to deepening (fixing) the resting membrane potential, and Cl ion channels are suitable for the inhibitory target ion channel. K ion channels are ion channels that by opening lead the cell in the direction of hyperpolarization and that by closing inhibit same. Cl ion channels are ion channels that by opening lead the cell in the direction of depolarization and that by closing inhibit same. K ion channels in the role of the inhibitory target ion channel are referred to as the second ion channel in order to distinguish them from the K ion channel that is the target of action for the inhibitor. The second ion channel can be exemplified by the K2P channels, Kv channels. Kir channels, and so forth already described above for the K ion channel. The Cl ion channel can be exemplified by CLC channels.

[0068] 4-pass transmembrane and 2-pore K ion channels (K2P channels) are particularly suitable among the preceding. K2P channels are currently regarded as promising targets for drug discovery for. e.g., anti-pain drugs, anti-inflammatory drugs, and anticancer drugs. As shown in FIG. 3, 17 types of K2P channels are currently known. In FIG. 3, those for which a therapeutic or prophylactic effect on the disease can be expected for an inhibitor (blocker) are indicated with italics, while those for which a therapeutic or prophylactic effect on the disease can be expected for an agonist (opener) are indicated with normal type.

[0069] The K2P channels are ion channels that form the resting membrane potential and are known to have a Ba ion sensitivity that is well below (for at least, at least 20-times, at least 30-times, and so forth) that of Kir 2.x and are advantageous also for having a low Ba ion sensitivity. The various K2P ion channels given in FIG. 3 are particularly suitable, and the TREK ion channels, e.g., TREK-1, TASK ion channels, e.g., TASK-1 and TASK-3, and TRAAK ion channel are more suitable from the standpoint of Ba ion sensitivity.

[0070] Besides the K2P channels and Kir channels, for example. Ca ion-activated K ion (KCa) channels and ATP-dependent K ion channels are also suitable for the inhibitory target ion channel. This is also because these are inhibitory ion channels that deepen the resting membrane potential.

[0071] For example, the Ca ion-activated K ion channels include a big conductance Ca ion-activated potassium (BK) channel and a small conductance Ca ion-activated potassium (SK) channel and, with a conductance between these, an intermediate conductance Ca ion-activated potassium (IK) channel. The SK channel can be exemplified by the SKI, SK2, and SK3 channels. The SK2 channel is a small conductance calcium-activated potassium channel type 2 (SK2, KCNN2, KCa2.2), while the IK channel is otherwise named SK4 (KCNN4, KCa3.1). SK1, SK2, SK3, and IK (SK4) are calcium-activated potassium channels that belong to the same class genetically, although IK (SK4) has a somewhat larger potassium ion permeability (K+ conductance) than SK1, SK2, and SK3.

[0072] For example, SK2 and SK4 are one type of calcium-activated K ion channel, and are K channels that belong to a family different from that of the K2P channels. As with the K2P channels, agents that act on the SK channel can be evaluated by expressing an SK channel as an inhibitory target ion channel in the screening material. SK channels are strongly activated by supplying, in the presence of an activator (for example, the already known DCEBIO or NS309), the Ca2+ ionophore ionomycin in order to raise the intracellular Ca2+ concentration. As a consequence, depolarization is not induced and cell death is not induced even when the Kir 2.X in the screening material is inhibited by the addition of Ba2+. In contrast, when an SK channel blocker (inhibitor) is added and supplied, the inhibition of cell death is suppressed and as a result cell death is induced in the screening material. This method may be used to evaluate both activators and inhibitors.

[0073] The present screening material should be functionally equipped with such an inhibitory target ion channel. The present screening material preferably specifically expresses or strongly expresses the inhibitory target ion channel. This results in a screening that has a better accuracy and sensitivity. Since ion channels are frequently distributed into specific cells, cells strongly expressing the ion channel to be targeted can also be selected in advance as parent cells for the screening material. In addition, in order to express a target ion channel in the screening material, the screening material preferably expressibly retains DNA encoding the target ion channel (third DNA). Preferably the third DNA is linked under the control of a constantly acting promoter (constitutive promoter) and the inhibitory target ion channel is constantly expressed. For the inhibitory target ion channel also, as already described the desired constantly expressing or transiently expressing cells may be acquired as appropriate by constructing, e.g., an expression vector containing the third DNA and then effecting transformation by its insertion into a screening material host, based on genetic engineering technology and transformant production technology commonly known among persons having ordinary skill in the art.

[0074] With the present screening material, a system of cell death induction in the presence of a K ion channel inhibitor (the cells are in a viable state on standby for a cell death-inducible state) can be constructed by the provision of the aforementioned Na ion channel, the aforementioned K ion channel, and the aforementioned inhibitory target ion channel. This cell death induction system itself constitutes a system for evaluating agonists and inhibitors for the inhibitory target ion channel. That is, a state is assumed in which the deepening of the resting membrane potential in the negative direction is inhibited by the presence of an inhibitor for the K ion channel, while the induction of depolarization is inhibited by the inhibitory target ion channel. An efficient evaluation can be conveniently carried out from this state of the inhibitory action or promoting action of test compounds on the inhibitory target ion channel.

[0075] (Screening Method) The screening method disclosed in this Description (also referred to herebelow as the present screening method) is a method for screening for agonists and inhibitors for a target ion channel. The present screening method can be provided with a step of supplying a K ion channel inhibitor to the present screening material so as to inhibit the action of the K ion channel; a step of supplying the present screening material with a test compound having the potential to inhibit or activate the inhibitory target ion channel; and a step of evaluating the effect of this supply of the test compound on cell death in the present screening material. The action of the test compound on the inhibitory target ion channel can be conveniently evaluated with the present screening material by supplying a K ion channel inhibitor and thereby inhibiting the K ion channel. For example, depolarization can be induced in the screening material without the use of electrical stimulation. An efficient screening is made possible as a result.

[0076] Moreover, because the action due to the K ion channel is inhibited by the K ion channel inhibitor while the cell death induction system is also controlled by the inhibitory target ion channel, which inhibits the cell death induction action due to the K ion channel inhibitor, by adjusting the K ion channel inhibitor concentration a favorable screening environment can be constructed in accordance with the properties of the test compound of interest, i.e., whether it is an inhibitor or agonist for the inhibitory target ion channel. For example, by supplying the K ion channel inhibitor in such a manner that the cell death percentage is lower than 50%, an environment favorable for screening inhibitors of the inhibitory target ion channel can be constructed. In addition, by supplying the K ion channel inhibitor in such a manner that the cell death percentage exceeds 50%, an environment favorable for screening agonists of the inhibitory target ion channel can be constructed.

[0077] Moreover, by, for example, supplying the K ion channel inhibitor in such a manner that the cell death percentage is around 50%, a qualitative and quantitative evaluation can be carried out of whether the test compound for the target inhibitory ion channel is an inhibitor or an agonist.

[0078] For example, if the Ba ion is supplied at a concentration that yields a cell death percentage of around 50%, the cell death percentage is then lowered from around 50% when a K2P channel opener is present, i.e., the percentage of cells remaining alive is increased from around 50%. When, on the other hand, a K2P channel blocker is present, the cell death percentage is increased from around 50%, i.e., the percentage of cells remaining alive is reduced from around 50%. Using this procedure, the action (agonist or inhibitor) on the inhibitory target ion channel of a test compound can be detected and evaluated using cell death/cell viability for the screening material, i.e., using the cell mortality ratio (or survival ratio).

[0079] When carrying out screening, one or two or more test compounds can be supplied to the screening material. The action of a test compound may be detected using a single test compound, or the combined action, additive action, or synergistic action of two or more test compounds may be detected using these compounds. In the detection of the action on an inhibitory target ion channel based on cell death (percentage) in the screening material, cell death (percentage) in the screening material in the absence of test compound supply can be used as a control group. In addition, a compound with a known action on the inhibitory target ion channel may be used as a control group. The presence or absence of an action by a test compound on the inhibitory target ion channel, or the degree of that action, can be detected by comparison with such control groups.

[0080] There are no particular limitations on the test compound. In addition to low molecular weight compounds, the test compound may be, for example, a protein, peptide, nucleic acid (DNA or RNA) such as an oligonucleotide or polyoligonucleotide, oligosaccharide, polysaccharide, or lipid.

[0081] Various types of stimuli may be applied to the screening material as necessary in addition to a test compound. This is because action may be promoted or inhibited by combination with these stimuli. In addition, the action on a target ion channel that is activated or deactivated in the presence of a stimulus can also be evaluated. Examples of such stimuli include temperature changes (high temperature or low temperature), pH changes, changes in O2/CO2 concentration, changes in osmotic pressure, and changes in volume.

[0082] The mode of the screening method for the present screening method is selected as appropriate in conformity with the type of the target ion channel. More specifically, the mode is selected as appropriate in conformity with the control method or function for the target ion channel. For example, the presence/absence of stimulus in order to activate (or inactivate) the target ion channel and/or the type of stimulus is selected in conformity with the control method for the target ion channel (voltage dependence, ligand dependence, mechanical stimulation dependence, temperature dependence, leak channel, phosphorylation dependence, and so forth). In addition, the evaluation mode (agonistic or inhibitory for the target ion channel) using cell death (percentage) as an indicator is selected in conformity to the function of the target ion channel. For example, when the target ion channel is a voltage-dependent ion channel, various types of functions are known to be expressed by activation (activation by a prescribed membrane potential). Specific examples thereof include generation of an action potential and conduction of excitation (associated with Na ion channels); release of neurotransmitters and generation of action potentials in nerves and cardiac muscle (associated with Ca ion channels); maintenance of membrane potential, control of excitability, and repolarization of action potential (associated with K ion channels); and membrane potential stabilization, control of excitability, ion transport, and regulation of cell volume (associated with Cl ion channels).

[0083] When, in the present screening method, the inhibitory target ion channel is an ion channel, such as a leak channel, that inhibits depolarization of and/or an action potential in (promotes hyperpolarization). e.g., the cell membrane of the screening material, an example of the mode of the evaluation step is as follows. Namely, the action of a test compound is evaluated in the presence of the test compound and a K ion channel inhibitor by using viability or death of the screening material as an indicator. In this case, in the absence of the test compound, the target ion channel is constantly activated and depolarization is inhibited or the action potential is inhibited. Consequently, an action potential is not generated or prolonged even in the presence of a K ion channel inhibitor. As a result, the screening material is viable. On the other hand, when the test compound and a K ion channel inhibitor are applied to the screening material, cell death in the screening material is promoted. When this mode is exhibited, the test compound can then be regarded as an inhibitor that has an inhibitory action on the target ion channel.

[0084] In addition, when the target ion channel is an ion channel, such as an hERG K ion channel, that upon activation inhibits depolarization of and/or an action potential in (promotes hyperpolarization) a biomembrane such as the cell membrane of the screening material, an example of the screening mode in the evaluation step is as follows. Namely, the action of a test compound is evaluated in the presence of the test compound and a K ion channel inhibitor by using viability or death of the screening material as an indicator. More specifically, when cell death in the screening material is inhibited when a K ion channel inhibitor is supplied at the same time as or after the application of the test compound to the screening material, the test compound can then be regarded as an agonist that activates the target ion channel. On the other hand, when cell death in the screening material has been promoted, the test compound can be regarded as an inhibitor that inhibits the target ion channel.

[0085] As has been described above, according to the present screening method, by using a K ion channel inhibitor, screening for agonists and inhibitors of a target ion channel can be conveniently carried out using viability or death in the screening material as an indicator. The present screening method is also suitable for screening systems requiring rapid results as well as for screening for ion channel-targeting drugs having a complex structural design, and particularly for primary screening requiring high throughput.

[0086] (Evaluation Method) The present screening method may also be executed as a method for evaluating the action of a test compound on a target ion channel. According to the present evaluation method, the action of a test compound on a target ion channel (activation or inhibition) can be measured both easily and rapidly. Thus, the present evaluation method is useful as a rapid and convenient evaluation method in those cases where at least a certain action is required of a test compound. The various types of modes for the already described present screening method can be used directly in the present evaluation method.

[0087] (Screening Kit) The kit disclosed in the present Description is a kit for screening for agonists or inhibitors of a target ion channel (also referred to herebelow as the present kit). The present kit can be provided with the present screening material and an inhibitor that inhibits the action of a K ion channel. The present kit enables the facile and efficient execution of screening for compounds that act on a target ion channel. In addition to the present screening material and inhibitor, the present kit may also be provided with a reagent for measuring cell death. The present kit may also be provided with a culture medium suitable for the present screening material. The present kit may also be provided with a compound that controls the expression and/or activity of a target ion channel and/or with equipment such as a device for electrical stimulation carried out on an optional basis. The present kit may also be used as a kit for evaluating the action of a test compound on a target ion channel.

[0088] (Method for Screening for K Ion Channel Inhibitors) The present Description also discloses a method for screening for K ion channel inhibitors (also referred to herebelow as the inhibitor screening method). According to the inhibitor screening method, screening can be carried out for an advantageous inhibitor of a K ion channel in the present screening material, i.e., screening can be carried out for a more specific and more sensitive inhibitor of the K ion channel that is used.

[0089] The inhibitor screening method can be provided with, for example, a step of preparing the cells that are provided with the Na ion channel and K ion channel in the present screening material and supplying these cells with a test compound that is a candidate inhibitor of the K ion channel, and a step of evaluating the inhibitory action of the test compound on the K ion channel by the detection of cell death or a cellular condition that can be regarded as cell death. The inhibitor screening method enables facile screening for inhibitors that even at low concentrations can inhibit the K ion channel used. An advantageous inhibitory concentration can also be acquired for an inhibitor, as can the 50% inhibitory concentration (concentration for a 50% cell mortality). The screening cells disclosed in Patent Literature 2 by the present inventors may be used as such in this inhibitor screening method. In addition, with regard to the detection of cell death or a cellular condition that can be regarded as cell death, the related modes in Patent Literature 2 may also be used as such.

[0090] The inhibitor screening method can be provided, for example, with a step of preparing, for the present screening material, test cells that are provided with a Na ion channel and a K ion channel as a test K ion channel, and supplying a K ion channel inhibitor to these cells, and a step of evaluating the inhibitory action of the inhibitor on the test K ion channel in the test cells by the detection of the death of these cells or a cellular condition that can be regarded as cell death. By preparing test cells respectively provided with various K ion channels, this inhibitor screening method enables facile screening for inhibitors that exhibit a high specificity for a specific test K ion channel. This inhibitor screening method may also use the various modes disclosed in Patent Literature 2 by the present inventors. In particular, when a K ion channel (second K ion channel) is used as the inhibitory target ion channel, and by using a candidate inhibitory target ion channel for the test K ion channel, screening can be carried out for inhibitors having a high and specific sensitivity at the first K ion channel and a low sensitivity at the second K ion channel.

[0091] For example, the method for screening for K ion channel inhibitors can be carried out using the following mode. Thus, the culture medium is replaced by a measurement buffer and a candidate K ion channel inhibitor is added as the test compound to, for example, Kir 2.1_ion channel# mutated Nav-expressing cells. K ion channel inhibitor screening may then be carried out by incubating the cells for approximately 12 hours under conditions of 37°C, atmospheric pressure, and 5% CO2 and monitoring cell death. For example, FIG. 4B gives the dose-response curve for the Ba ion (added as BaCh), which is a Kir 2.1 inhibitor, when Kir 2.1 is adopted for the K ion channel. The composition of the measurement buffer (unit = mM) can be 137 NaCl, 5.9 KCl, 2.2 CaCl2, 1.2 MgCl2, 14 glucose, and 10 HEPES (pH 7.4 with NaOH).

[0092] (Method for Screening Inhibitors and Activators for Na Ion Channel) The present Description also discloses a method for screening inhibitors and activators for the Na ion channel. This is because an inhibitor that inhibits the action of a voltage-dependent Na ion channel that prolongs the duration of the action potential associated with depolarization, as well as an activator that activates this action, are both useful in the screening system disclosed in this Description for, e.g., agents that act on a target ion channel.

[0093] The inhibitor screening method can be carried out using the following mode. Thus, the culture medium is replaced by a measurement buffer and 200 µM Ba ion (added as BaCl2) and a Na ion channel candidate inhibitor as the test compound are added to, for example. Kir 2.1# mutated Nav-expressing cells. This is followed by incubation of the cells for approximately 12 hours under conditions of 37°C, atmospheric pressure, and 5% CO2. It is thought that cell death is inhibited when the test compound is a candidate inhibitor.

[0094] The method for screening for activators can be carried out, for example, using the following mode. Thus, the culture medium is replaced by a measurement buffer and an activator candidate compound is added as the test compound to, for example. Kir 2.1# mutated Nav-expressing cells. This is followed by incubation of the cells for approximately 12 hours under conditions of 37°C. atmospheric pressure, and 5% CO2. It is thought that cell death is induced when the test compound is an activator.

Embodiments



[0095] Examples embodying the disclosure of the present Description are described in the following, but the disclosure of the present Description is not limited thereto.

First Embodiment


(Production of IFM Motif Mutant of Nav 1.5 Channel Deactivation Site)



[0096] The hydrophobic amino acid sequence Ile-Phe-Met (IFM motif) present in the III-IV linker region that controls deactivation of the Nav 1.5 channel was entirely mutated to Gin. The amino acid sequence (motif) following mutation is shown below.

[0097] hNav 1.5 Amino Acid Sequence (only the region containing IFM targeted for mutation is shown) (SEQ ID NO: 1)
1470-IDNFNQQKKKLGGQDIFMTEEQKKYYNAMKK-1500
(The underlined IFM is mutated to QQQ)

[0098] A deactivation mutant Nav 1.5 IFM/QQQ was produced by using as template pcDNA3.1/Nav 1.5 obtained by subcloning human-derived Nav 1.5 (GenBank Accession No.: NM#198056.) in pcDNA3.1(+) (Invitrogen Corp.), and using the specific PCR primers indicated below and a Quik Change Site-Directed Mutagenesis Kit (Stratagene Corp.). The DNA sequence of the resulting clone was confirmed using the Big Dye Terminator Ver. 3.1 Cycle Sequencing Kit (Applied Biosystems Inc.) and a fluorescent capillary sequencer (ABI Prism 3100 Avant Genetic Analyzer. Applied Biosystems Inc.), and plasmid DNA was purified in large volume using a PureLink Hipure Plasmid Maxiprep Kit (Invitrogen Corp.).

Primers



[0099] 

5'-GTTAGGGGGCCAGGACCAACAACAGACAGAGGAGCAGAAG-3'(SEQ.ID: 2)

5'-CTTCTGCTCCTCTGTCTGTTGTTGGTCCTGGCCCCCTAAC-3' (SEQ.ID: 3)


Second Embodiment



[0100] (Cell Culture and Gene Insertion) Human-derived embryonic kidney cells (HEK293 cells) were purchased from the Health Sciences Research Resource Bank (HSRRB). 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS, Gibco Corp.) was added thereto followed by culturing at 37°C in 5% CO2 in Dulbecco's Modified Eagle Medium (D-MEM, Wako Pure Chemical Industries, Ltd.) containing 100 U/ml penicillin (Wako Pure Chemical Industries, Ltd.) and 100 µg/ml streptomycin (Meiji Seika Kaisha, Ltd.). pcDNA3.1/Kir 2.1, obtained by subcloning human-derived Kir 2.1 (NM#000891) in pcDNA3.1(+) (Invitrogen Corp.), was inserted using Lipofectamine 2000 (Invitrogen Corp.) followed by culturing in medium obtained by adding 0.2 mg/ml Zeocin (Invitrogen Corp.) to the above-mentioned D-MEM medium and then cloning Zeocin resistant cells to prepare Kir 2.1 constantly expressing cells (HEK#Kir). In addition, the deactivation mutant Nav 1.5 IFM/QQQ was inserted into the Kir 2.1 constantly expressing cells using the same method (HEK#Kir#mutated Nav).

[0101] Proceeding as above, hTREK-1#Kir 2.1# mutated Nav cells (referred to herebelow as TREK-1 test cells) were prepared by subcloning hTREK-1 (GenBank Accession Number: NM#001017424), a type of human-derived K2P channel, in pcDNA3.1(+) and inserting it in the previously prepared Kir 2.1# mutated Nav cells.

[0102] With the TREK-1 test cells, the culture medium was replaced with measurement buffer (137 mM NaCl, 5.9 mM KCl, 2.2 mM CaCl2, 1.2 mM MgCl2, 14 mM glucose, 10 mM HEPES (pH 7.4 with NaOH), this also applies in the following) and BaCl2 was added to provide 200 µM Ba ion, a Kir 2.1 inhibitor. This was followed by incubation for approximately 12 hours under conditions of 37°C, atmospheric pressure, and 5% CO2 and monitoring of cell death. Cell death was observed when 8-Br-cAMP. a TREK-1 inhibitor, was supplied. The measurement of cell death was carried out using the MTT method with reference to a paper by the present inventors (Yamazaki, D., et al., Am J Physiol Cell Physiol 300, C75-86, 2011). The results are given in FIG. 6.

[0103] As shown in FIG. 6A, cell death was not produced when Ba ion was also supplied to the TREK-1 test cells at a total amount of 200 µM; however, cell death was produced when the TREK-1 inhibitor was supplied in the presence of the Ba ion. As shown in FIG. 6B, cell death was also induced by reducing the culture temperature to 27°C. This was regarded as being due to the temperature sensitivity of TREK-1 (Maingret et al., EMBO J., 19, 2483-2491, 2000). That is, this was considered to be due to the following: at room temperature (27°C) TREK-1 has a low activity and thus also has a weak inhibitory effect on cell death; at a higher temperature (37°C), TREK-1 is activated and thus has a significantly higher inhibitory effect on cell death than at room temperature.

Third Embodiment



[0104] hTASK-1 (the Δi20 mutant was used due to poor transfer to the cell membrane by the wild type, resulting in the problems of a small current and measurement difficulties. This mutant is reported to readily transfer to the membrane. Renigunta et al., Traffic 7:168-181, 2006) and hTASK-3 (GenBank Accession Number: NM#001282534), which are types of human-derived K2P channels, were subcloned in a baculovirus vector, a viral vector, and were inserted into the Kir 2.1# mutated Nav cells prepared in Second Embodiment to prepare hTASK-1 transiently expressing TASK-1#Kir 2.1# mutated Nav cells and hTASK-3 transiently expressing hTASK-3#Kir 2.1# mutated Nav cells (referred to herebelow as TASK-1 test cells and TASK-3 test cells), respectively, which transiently expressed hTASK-1 and hTASK-3. Sf-900 III SFM (Thermo Fisher Scientific) was used for the culture medium for baculovirus vector production, and Dulbecco's Modified Eagle Medium (D-MEM) culture medium supplemented with 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS) was used as the culture medium for the test cells.

[0105] For the TASK-1 test cells and TASK-3 test cells, the culture medium was replaced with the measurement buffer, and cell death was not produced even upon the addition of BaCl2 so as to provide 200 µM Ba ion. On the other hand, as shown in FIG. 7A, the induction of cell death in a dose-dependent regime was observed when TK-PHPP, a TASK-1 and TASK-3 selective inhibitor, was added in the presence of the same amount of Ba ion. The IC50 value for TK-THPP was, respectively, 2.36 nM and 34.7 nM. For TASK-3 this was the same as the literature value of 35 nM (Coburn et al., Chem Med Chem., 7(1), 123-33. 2012).

[0106] As shown in FIG. 7B, cell death was observed in a concentration-dependent regime also for the use of ML365, which is a selective inhibitor of TASK-1 (Flaherty et al., Bioorg Med Chem Lett., 15; 24(16):3968-3973, 2014). A sharp increase in the induction of cell death occurred from the point at which 11.5 nM was exceeded for the TASK-1 test cells and from the point at which 100 nM was exceeded for the TASK-3 test cells. The reported IC50 values for ML365 for TASK-1 and TASK-3 are, respectively, 12 nM and 480 nM (Zou et al., Probe Reports from the NIH Molecular Libraries Program, 2010). It was thus demonstrated that the same results as for the patch clamp technique are obtained using the TASK-1 test cells and TASK-3 test cells.

Fourth Embodiment



[0107] Three types of TASK-3 test cells were prepared by carrying out insertion into the Kir 2.1# mutated Nav cells prepared in Second Embodiment using the baculovirus, i.e., the viral vector in which the hTASK-3. a type of human-derived K2P channel, was subcloned, in a range up to 3-times (2.5%. 5%, or 10% of the culture medium) the amount of introduction according to Third Embodiment. Ba ion was supplied 24 hours after viral infection followed by submission to the cell death test.

[0108] The Ba ion was supplied in accordance with Third Embodiment to these three types of TASK-3 test cells and cell death was monitored. The results are shown in FIG. 8.

[0109] As shown in FIG. 8, the inhibitory effect on cell death by TASK-3 was observed to correlate with its amount of introduction. This fact shows that the proportion for cell death due to the administration of excess Ba ion varies when the expression level of an investigational inhibitory ion channel is adjusted. When the amount of expression is increased to at least a certain level, cell death does not reach 100% even when Kir 2.x is completely inhibited by the Ba ion. This case is suitable for screening for inhibitors of a target ion channel. The preceding thus demonstrates that, by selecting test cells in a suitable state of constant expression and by selecting a suitable Ba ion concentration, conditions can be established at which approximately 50% cell death is produced by the administration of the Ba ion and both inhibitors and agonists can be screened under conditions of maximum sensitivity.

Fifth Embodiment



[0110] hSK2 and hSK4, which are each one type of human-derived Ca ion-activated ion channel, were respectively subcloned in a baculovirus vector, which is a viral vector, and were inserted into the Kir 2.1# mutated Nav cells prepared in Second Embodiment to prepare hSK2 transiently expressing Kir 2.1+IFM/QQQ+SK2 cells (referred to herebelow as SK2 test cells) and hSK4 transiently expressing Kir 2.1+IFM/QQQ+SK4 cells (referred to herebelow as SK4 test cells). Sf-900 III SFM (Thermo Fisher Scientific) was used for the culture medium for baculovirus vector production, and Dulbecco's Modified Eagle Medium (D-MEM) culture medium supplemented with 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS) was used as the culture medium for the test cells.

[0111] With the SK2 test cells and SK4 test cells, the culture medium was replaced with measurement buffer; suitable additions were made of Ca ion (100 nM), SK/IK activator, SK inhibitor, and IK selective inhibitor: and culture was carried out and cell death was assayed. The results are given in FIG. 9.

[0112] As shown in FIG. 9A, cell death of the SK2 test cells was inhibited when NS309 (3-oxime-6,7-dichloro-1H-indole-2.3-dione), an SK/IK activator, was also added to the SK2 test cells in the presence of 100 nM Ca ion. That is, the action of an SK activator such as NS309 could be observed. Moreover, when both NS309, an SK/IK activator, and UCL1684, an SK inhibitor, were added, the NS309-mediated inhibition of cell death was extinguished. The preceding thus demonstrates that, using this evaluation system, the SK ion channel can also be used as the target ion channel and in addition the action of activators and inhibitors on this ion channel can be evaluated.

[0113] As shown in FIG. 9B, cell death of the SK4 test cells was inhibited when DCEBIO (5,6-dichloro-1-ethyl-1,3-dihydro-2H-benzimidazole-2-one), an SK/IK activator, was also added to the SK4 test cells in the presence of 100 nM Ca ion. That is, the action of an SK activator such as DCEBIO could be observed. Moreover, when both DCEBIO, an SK/IK activator, and TRAM34, an IK selective inhibitor, were added, the DCEBIO-mediated inhibition of cell death was extinguished. The preceding thus demonstrates that, using this evaluation system, the SK4(IK) ion channel can also be used as the target ion channel and in addition the action of activators and inhibitors on this ion channel can be evaluated.

[0114] The present screening material has thus been demonstrated to also be suitable for ion channels other than K2P channels, for example, SK channels and the Slack channel (KCNT1) and Slick channel (KCNT2) that are sodium-activated potassium channels, and to also be usable in the search for agents that act on many other potassium channels and chloride channels.

[0115] Hereinafter, documents related to the teachings disclosed in the present specification are shown. The following documents are incorporated by reference into the present specification.
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Claims

1. A screening material for agonists or inhibitors for a target ion channel, wherein the screening material contains cells comprising:

a voltage-dependent Na ion channel that prolongs the duration of an action potential associated with depolarization,

a K ion channel that deepens a resting membrane potential in the negative direction, and

a target ion channel that is an ion channel that contributes to deepening the resting membrane potential in the negative direction and/or that shortens the duration of the action potential associated with depolarization,

wherein the Na ion channel, the K ion channel, and the target ion channel constitute a cell death induction system with which cell death is induced by the induction of depolarization in the presence of an inhibitor for the K ion channel.


 
2. The screening material according to claim 1, wherein the target ion channel has an inhibitory action on the cell death induced by the cell death induction system.
 
3. The screening material according to claim 1 or 2, that uses a selective inhibitor of the K ion channel.
 
4. The screening material according to claim 3, wherein the target ion channel has a lower sensitivity to the K ion channel inhibitor than the K ion channel.
 
5. The screening material according to any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein the target ion channel is an ion channel that contributes to deepening the resting membrane potential in the negative direction and is another K ion channel that is different from the aforementioned K ion channel.
 
6. The screening material according to claim 5, wherein the another K ion channel is a K2P channel.
 
7. The screening material according to any one of claims 1 to 6, wherein the target ion channel is an ion channel that contributes to a shortening of the duration of the action potential associated with depolarization.
 
8. A method for screening for an agonist or inhibitor of a target ion channel, wherein the method
uses cells provided with a voltage-dependent Na ion channel that prolongs the duration of an action potential associated with depolarization, a K ion channel that deepens the resting membrane potential in the negative direction, and a target ion channel that is an ion channel that contributes to deepening the resting membrane potential in the negative direction and/or that shortens the duration of the action potential associated with depolarization, wherein the Na ion channel, the K ion channel, and the target ion channel constitute a cell death induction system with which cell death is induced by the induction of depolarization in the presence of an inhibitor for the K ion channel,
and is provided with
a step of supplying the inhibitor to the cells;
a step of supplying the cells with a test compound having the potential to inhibit or activate the target ion channel; and
a step of evaluating the effect on cell death of the cells due to the supply of the test compound.
 
9. A kit for screening for an agonist or inhibitor of a target ion channel, the kit being provided with
cells provided with a voltage-dependent Na ion channel that prolongs the duration of an action potential associated with depolarization, a K ion channel that deepens the resting membrane potential in the negative direction, and a target ion channel that is an ion channel that contributes to deepening the resting membrane potential in the negative direction and/or that shortens the duration of the action potential associated with depolarization, wherein the Na ion channel, the K ion channel, and the target ion channel constitute a cell death induction system with which cell death is induced by the induction of depolarization in the presence of an inhibitor for the K ion channel, and
the inhibitor.
 




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REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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