Scientific reports 2017 03 207() 44816 doi 10.1038/srep44816
Agonists that target the A1, A2A, A2B and A3 adenosine receptors have potential to be potent treatment options for a number of diseases, including autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Because each of these adenosine receptors plays a distinct role throughout the body, obtaining highly specific receptor agonists is essential. Of these receptors, the adenosine A2AR and A2BR share many sequence and structural similarities but highly differ in their responses to inflammatory stimuli. Our laboratory, using a combination of specially developed cell lines and calcium release analysis hardware, has created a new and faster method for determining specificity of synthetic adenosine agonist compounds for the A2A and A2B receptors in human cells. A2A receptor expression was effectively removed from K562 cells, resulting in the development of a distinct null line. Using HIV-lentivector and plasmid DNA transfection, we also developed A2A and A2B receptor over-expressing lines. As adenosine is known to cause changes in intracellular calcium levels upon addition to cell culture, calcium release can be determined in these cell lines upon compound addition, providing a functional readout of receptor activation and allowing us to isolate the most specific adenosine agonist compounds.