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J Med Chem. 2011 Apr 28;54(8):2864-77. doi: 10.1021/jm1016208. Epub 2011 Mar 23.

Design, synthesis, and pharmacological characterization of fluorescent peptides for imaging human V1b vasopressin or oxytocin receptors.

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  • 1Institute of Functional Genomics, CNRS UMR5203- INSERM U661, University of Montpellier I and II, Montpellier, France.


Among the four known vasopressin and oxytocin receptors, the specific localization of the V1b isoform is poorly described because of the lack of selective pharmacological tools. In an attempt to address this need, we decided to design, synthesize, and characterize fluorescent selective V1b analogues. Starting with the selective V1b agonist [deamino-Cys(1),Leu(4),Lys(8)]vasopressin (d[Leu(4),Lys(8)]VP) synthesized earlier, we added blue, green, or red fluorophores to the lysine residue at position 8 either directly or by the use of linkers of different lengths. Among the nine analogues synthesized, two exhibited very promising properties. These are d[Leu(4),Lys(Alexa 647)(8)]VP (3) and d[Leu(4),Lys(11-aminoundecanoyl-Alexa 647)(8)]VP (9). They remained full V1b agonists with nanomolar affinity and specifically decorated the plasma membrane of CHO cells stably transfected with the human V1b receptor. These new selective fluorescent peptides will allow the cellular localization of V1b or OT receptor isoforms in native tissues.

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