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J Med Chem. 2004 Oct 7;47(21):5198-203.

Synthesis and evaluation of the affinity toward mu-opioid receptors of atypical, lipophilic ligands based on the sequence c[-Tyr-Pro-Trp-Phe-Gly-].

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Dipartimento di Chimica G. Ciamician and CSFM, via Selmi 2, Università di Bologna, 40126 Bologna, Italy.


An ultimate and general model describing the interaction between opioid ligands and mu-opioid receptors is not available yet, so the mode of action of atypical peptide analogues or peptidomimetics is worthy of investigation. In this context, the peptide c[-Tyr-d-Pro-d-Trp-Phe-Gly-] was observed to act as an agonist toward mu-opioid receptors with appreciable potency, albeit deprived of a protonable nitrogen. This compound was synthesized as a member of a library of diastereo- or enantiomeric cyclic peptides based on the sequence of endomorphin-1, aiming to obtain lipophilic peptide ligands active at the mu-opioid receptors, having good performances in terms of resistance to enzymatic degradation and permeation of biological barriers.

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