Opioid binding sites in human serum albumin.

Article Details


Zhou R, Perez-Aguilar JM, Meng Q, Saven JG, Liu R

Opioid binding sites in human serum albumin.

Anesth Analg. 2012 Jan;114(1):122-8. doi: 10.1213/ANE.0b013e318232e922. Epub 2011 Oct 24.

PubMed ID
22025496 [ View in PubMed

BACKGROUND: Human serum albumin (HSA) is an important carrier for opioids. However, the locations of the binding sites remain unclear. In the present study, we have characterized opioid-HSA interactions using multiple biochemical and biophysical techniques to reveal: (a) the location of the binding site(s); (b) whether naloxone shares the binding site with morphine; and (c) whether opioid agonists share their binding site(s) with general anesthetics. METHODS: Elution chromatography to determine the global interactions and tryptophan intrinsic fluorescence to determine the localized interactions of opioids with HSA were used. Competition studies using isothermal titration calorimetry were used to determine the overlap of binding site(s) among opioid agonists, antagonists, and general anesthetics. An automatic docking calculation was used to predict the possible binding sites and to assess findings of the solution studies. RESULTS: For elution chromatography with immobilized HSA, the retention times of naloxone, morphine, and fentanyl were prolonged but shorter than that of propofol. The inhibition of tryptophan fluorescence by naloxone was not affected by morphine or fentanyl. The calorimetric heat profiles of propofol and halothane interaction with HSA were changed significantly, but not equally by morphine, naloxone, or fentanyl. Consistent with direct binding studies, docking results demonstrated that opioids share sites with general anesthetics; a distinct binding site for naloxone was revealed near the sole tryptophan in HSA that is not shared with morphine. CONCLUSIONS: The interaction of opioids with HSA is weak in comparison with propofol. Naloxone has a distinct binding site in HSA not shared with opioid agonists. Opioids share binding sites with general anesthetics in HSA.

DrugBank Data that Cites this Article

Drug Carriers
DrugCarrierKindOrganismPharmacological ActionActions
MorphineSerum albuminProteinHumans