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Org Biomol Chem. 2007 Apr 21;5(8):1177-90. Epub 2007 Mar 1.

Opioid ligands with mixed properties from substituted enantiomeric N-phenethyl-5-phenylmorphans. Synthesis of a micro-agonist delta-antagonist and delta-inverse agonists.

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  • 1Drug Design and Synthesis Section, Chemical Biology Research Branch, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-0815, USA.


Enantiomeric N-phenethyl-m-hydroxyphenylmorphans with various substituents in the ortho, meta or para positions of the aromatic ring in the phenethylamine side-chain (chloro, hydroxy, methoxy, nitro, methyl), as well as a pyridylethyl and a indolylethyl moiety on the nitrogen atom, were synthesized and their binding affinity to the mu-, delta-, and kappa-opioid receptors was examined. The higher affinity ligands were further examined in the [(35)S]GTPgammaS assay to study their function and efficacy. 3-((1R,5S)-(-)-2-(4-Nitrophenethyl)-2-aza-bicyclo[3.3.1]nonan-5-yl)phenol ((-)-) was found to be a mu-agonist and delta-antagonist in that functional assay and was about 50 fold more potent than morphine in vivo. 3-((1R,5S)-(-)-2-(4-Chlorophenethyl)-2-aza-bicyclo[3.3.1]nonan-5-yl)phenol ((-)-) and several other ligands displayed inverse agonist activity at the delta-opioid receptor. The absolute configuration of all of the reported compounds was established by chemical conversion of (-)- to 1R,5S-(-)-.HBr.

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