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Biopolymers. 2003;71(2):86-102.

Dmt and opioid peptides: a potent alliance.

Author information

1
Peptide Neurochemistry, LCBRA, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA. bryant2@niehs.nih.gov

Abstract

The introduction of the Dmt (2',6'-dimethyl-L-tyrosine)-Tic pharmacophore into the design of opioid ligands produced an extraordinary family of potent delta-opioid receptor antagonists and heralded a new phase in opioid research. First reviewed extensively in 1998, the incorporation of Dmt into a diverse group of opioid molecules stimulated the opioid field leading to the development of unique analogues with remarkable properties. This overview will document the crucial role played by this residue in the proliferation of opioid peptides with high receptor affinity (K(i) equal to or less than 1 nM) and potent bioactivity. The discussion will include the metamorphosis between delta-opioid receptor antagonists to delta-agonists based solely on subtle structural changes at the C-terminal region of the Dmt-Tic pharmacophore as well as their behavior in vivo. Dmt may be considered promiscuous due to the acquisition of potent mu-agonism by dermorphin and endomorphin derivatives as well as by a unique class of opioidmimetics containing two Dmt residues separated by alkyl or pyrazinone linkers. Structural studies on the Dmt-Tic compounds were enhanced tremendously by x-ray diffraction data for three potent and biologically diverse Dmt-Tic opioidmimetics that led to the development of pharmacophores for both delta-opioid receptor agonists and antagonists. Molecular modeling studies of other unique Dmt opioid analogues illuminated structural differences between delta- and mu-receptor ligand interactions. The future of these compounds as therapeutic applications for various medical syndromes including the control of cancer-associated pain is only a matter of time and perseverance.

PMID:
12767112
DOI:
10.1002/bip.10399
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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