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Br J Pharmacol. 1999 Oct;128(3):647-52.

Novel strategies for the design of receptor-selective vasopressin analogues: Aib-substitution and retro-inverso transformation.

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Molecular Pharmacology Group, School of Health Sciences, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton WV1 1DJ, UK.


1. We determined the pharmacological profile of novel backbone-modified peptides designed as protease-resistant, selective analogues of AVP. Binding affinities of peptides were determined at both V1A and V2 subtypes of vasopressin receptor (VPR). Biological potencies of selected peptides were tested in pressor and antidiuretic bioassays. 2. Substitution of the achiral alpha-aminoisobutyric acid (Aib) at position 4 or 7 of AVP produced peptides that selectively bound the V2 VPR. Both [Aib4]AVP (140 IU mg-1) and [Aib7]AVP (36 IU mg-1) are selective antidiuretic agonists with little or no activity in uterotonic and pressor assays. 3. [Aib4] and [Aib7] derivatives of the linear V1A-selective antagonist [PhaaDTyr(Et)2Arg6Tyr(NH2)9]AVP bound selectively and with high affinity (Kd 0.51 and 4.1 nM respectively) to the V1A VPR. Bioassays confirmed that these peptides were potent antivasopressor agents (pA2 8.10 and 8.36 respectively). 4. A total retro-inverso strategy was used to prepare protease-resistant mimetics of both AVP and linear V1A-selective antagonists. Cyclic retro-inverso mimetics of AVP did not bind either V1A or V2 VPRs. In contrast, rationally designed retro-inverso mimetics of linear V1A-selective antagonists selectively bound the V1A VPR. 5. Our findings indicate novel methods to improve the pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic parameters of neurohypophysial hormone analogues which could be equally applicable to other peptide-receptor systems.

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