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Paclitaxel binds and activates C5aR1: A new potential therapeutic target for the prevention of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy and hypersensitivity reactions

By January 30, 2024May 16th, 2024No Comments

Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) and hypersensitivity reactions (HSRs) are among the most frequent and impairing side effects of the antineoplastic agent paclitaxel. Here, we demonstrated that paclitaxel can bind and activate complement component 5a receptor 1 (C5aR1) and that this binding is crucial in the etiology of paclitaxel-induced CIPN and anaphylaxis. Starting from our previous data demonstrating the role of interleukin (IL)-8 in paclitaxel-induced neuronal toxicity, we searched for proteins that activate IL-8 expression and, by using the Exscalate platform for molecular docking simulations, we predicted the high affinity of C5aR1 with paclitaxel. By in vitro studies, we confirmed the specific and competitive nature of the C5aR1-paclitaxel binding and found that it triggers intracellularly the NFkB/P38 pathway and c-Fos. In F11 neuronal cells and rat dorsal root ganglia, C5aR1 inhibition protected from paclitaxel-induced neuropathological effects, while in paclitaxel-treated mice, the absence (knock-out mice) or the inhibition of C5aR1 significantly ameliorated CIPN symptoms—in terms of cold and mechanical allodynia—and reduced the chronic pathological state in the paw. Finally, we found that C5aR1 inhibition can counteract paclitaxel-induced anaphylactic cytokine release in macrophages in vitro, as well as the onset of HSRs in mice. Altogether these data identified C5aR1 as a key mediator and a new potential pharmacological target for the prevention and treatment of CIPN and HSRs induced by paclitaxel. Excelra’s GOSTAR® database consisting of published and patented inhibitors against various biological targets and their associated structure-activity relationship (SAR) data, was used to retrieve known targets of paclitaxel.


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