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J Med Chem. 2003 May 22;46(11):2104-9.

Structure-activity relationships of dynorphin a analogues modified in the address sequence.

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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, California 92093-0343, USA.


The peptide [Pro3]Dyn A(1-11)-NH2 2 exhibits high affinity (K(i) = 2.4 nM) and over 2000-fold selectivity for the opioid receptor. Stepwise removal of the C-terminal residues from this ligand demonstrated that its positively charged Arg residues, particularly Arg6 and Arg7, were crucial for binding to the kappa receptor. Analogues shorter than seven amino acids lacked significant affinity for opioid receptors. Comparison with a series of truncated analogues of Dyn A showed that the relative losses in binding potency differed only slightly between the two series. The neutral residues Ile8 and Pro10 could be removed without significant loss in affinity for the kappa receptor. Their replacement, in the Pro3 analogue, with additional Arg residues led to analogues with improved kappa affinity (e.g., [Pro3,Arg8]Dyn A(1-11)-NH2 20: K(i)(kappa) = 0.44 nM). This type of modification did not compromise the high kappa selectivity of the Pro3 analogues. These findings support the view that a negatively charged domain in the putative second extracellular loop of the kappa receptor selectively recognizes residues 6-11 of dynorphin through electrostatic interactions. As with parent compound 2, analogue 20 and related compounds displayed kappa antagonist properties.

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