A thermally stable form of bacterial cocaine esterase: A potential therapeutic agent for treatment of cocaine abuse

Remy L. Brim, Mark R. Nance, Daniel W. Youngstrom, Diwahar Narasimhan, Chang Guo Zhan, John J.G. Tesmer, Roger K. Sunahara, James H. Woods

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

Rhodococcal cocaine esterase (CocE) is an attractive potential treatment for both cocaine overdose and cocaine addiction. CocE directly degrades cocaine into inactive products, whereas traditional small-molecule approaches require blockade of the inhibitory action of cocaine on a diverse array of monoamine transporters and ion channels. The usefulness of wild-type (wt) cocaine esterase is hampered by its inactivation at 37°C. Herein, we characterize the most thermostable form of this enzyme to date, CocE-L169K/G173Q. In vitro kinetic analyses reveal that CocE-L169K/G173Q displays a half-life of 2.9 days at 37°C, which represents a 340-fold improvement over wt and is 15-fold greater than previously reported mutants. Crystallographic analyses of CocE-L169K/G173Q, determined at 1.6-Å resolution, suggest that stabilization involves enhanced domain-domain interactions involving van der Waals interactions and hydrogen bonding. In vivo rodent studies reveal that intravenous pretreatment with CocE-L169K/G173Q in mice provides protection from cocaine-induced lethality for longer time periods before cocaine administration than wt CocE. Furthermore, intravenous administration (pretreatment) of CocE-L169K/G173Q prevents self-administration of cocaine in a time-dependent manner. Termination of the in vivo effects of CoCE seems to be dependent on, but not proportional to, its clearance from plasma as its half-life is approximately 2.3 h and similar to that of wt CocE (2.2 h). Taken together these data suggest that CocE-L169K/G173Q possesses many of the properties of a biological therapeutic for treating cocaine abuse but requires additional development to improve its serum half-life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)593-600
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular pharmacology
Volume77
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'A thermally stable form of bacterial cocaine esterase: A potential therapeutic agent for treatment of cocaine abuse'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this