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Peptides. 1999;20(10):1229-38.

The effect of halogenation on blood-brain barrier permeability of a novel peptide drug.

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Department of Pharmacology, The University of Arizona, College of Medicine, Tucson 85724, USA.


The utility of a drug depends on its ability to reach appropriate receptors at the target tissue and remain metabolically stable to produce the desired effect. To improve central nervous system entry of the opioid analgesic [D-Pen2, L-Pen5, Phe6] Enkephalin (DPLPE-Phe), our research group synthesized analogs that had chloro, bromo, fluoro, and iodo halogens on the para positions of the phenylalanine-4 residue. This study reports on investigation of the effect of halogenation on stability, lipophilicity, and in vitro blood-brain barrier permeability of a novel enkephalin analog DPLPE-Phe. The stability of each halogenated DPLPE-Phe analog as well as the amidated and nonamidated parent peptide was tested in plasma and brain. All peptides tested had a half-time disappearance >300 min except for DPLPE-Phe-NH2, which was found to have a half-life of 30 min in plasma. Octanol/saline distribution studies indicated addition of halogens to DPLPE-Phe-OH significantly increased lipophilicity except for p-[F-Phe4]DPLPE-Phe-OH. p-[Cl-Phe4]DPLPE-Phe-OH exhibited the most pronounced increase in lipophilicity. Para-bromo and para-chloro halogen additions significantly enhanced in vitro blood-brain barrier permeability, providing evidence for improved delivery to the central nervous system.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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