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J Med Chem. 2005 Jan 27;48(2):586-92.

Development of potent mu-opioid receptor ligands using unique tyrosine analogues of endomorphin-2.

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The Graduate School of Food and Medicinal Sciences, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, and High Technology Research Center, Kobe Gakuin University, Nishi-ku, Kobe 651-2180, Japan.


Six analogues of tyrosine, which contained alkyl groups at positions 2', 3', and 6', either singly or in combination on the tyramine ring, were investigated for their effect on the opioid activity of [Xaa(1)]endomorphin-2 (EM-2). The opioid analogues displayed the following characteristics: (i) high mu-opioid receptor affinity [K(i)(mu) = 0.063-2.29 nM] with selectivity [K(i)(delta)/K(i)(mu)] ranging from 46 to 5347; (ii) potent functional mu-opioid agonism [GPI assay (IC(50) = 0.623-0.924 nM)] and with a correlation between delta-opioid receptor affinities and functional bioactivity using MVD; (iii) intracerebroventricular administration of [Dmt(1)]- (14) and [Det(1)]EM-2 (10) produced a dose-response antinociception in mice, with the former analogue more active than the latter; and (iv) a marked shift occurred from the trans-orientation at the Tyr(1)-Pro(2) bond to a cis-conformer compared to that observed previously with [Dmt(1)]EM-2 (14) (Okada et al. Bioorg. Med. Chem. 2003, 11, 1983-1984) except [Mmt(1)]EM-2 (7). The active profile of the [Xaa(1)]EM-2 analogues indicated that significant modifications on the tyramine ring are possible while high biological activity is maintained.

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