The potential of a novel class of epac-selective agonists to combat cardiovascular inflammation

Graeme Barker, Euan Parnell, Boy van Basten, Hanna Buist, David R. Adams, Stephen J. Yarwood*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The cyclic 3,5-adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) sensor enzyme, EPAC1, is a candidate drug target in vascular endothelial cells (VECs) due to its ability to attenuate proinflammatory cytokine signalling normally associated with cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), including atherosclerosis. This is through the EPAC1-dependent induction of the suppressor of cytokine signalling gene, SOCS3, which targets inflammatory signalling proteins for ubiquitinylation and destruction by the proteosome. Given this important role for the EPAC1/SOCS3 signalling axis, we have used high throughput screening (HTS) to identify small molecule EPAC1 regulators and have recently isolated the first known non-cyclic nucleotide (NCN) EPAC1 agonist, I942. I942 therefore represents the first in class, isoform selective EPAC1 activator, with the potential to suppress pro-inflammatory cytokine signalling with a reduced risk of side effects associated with general cAMP-elevating agents that activate multiple response pathways. The development of augmented I942 analogues may therefore provide improved research tools to validate EPAC1 as a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of chronic inflammation associated with deadly CVDs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number22
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Development and Disease
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2017


  • Cyclic AMP
  • Cyclic nucleotide binding domain
  • EPAC1
  • Endothelial cells
  • High-throughput screening
  • Inflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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