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J Med Chem. 2006 Dec 14;49(25):7278-89.

Elucidation of the bioactive conformation of the N-substituted trans-3,4-dimethyl-4-(3-hydroxyphenyl)piperidine class of mu-opioid receptor antagonists.

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Department of Chemistry, Adolor Corporation, 700 Pennsylvania Drive, Exton, Pennsylvania 19341, USA.


The series of trans-3,4-dimethyl-4-(3-hydroxyphenyl)piperidines have been widely investigated as opioid receptor antagonists. One of our research goals was to explore the bioactive conformation of the N-phenethyl trans-3,4-dimethyl-4-(3-hydroxyphenyl)piperidine derivative 3, prototypical mu-opioid antagonist in this series. In this effort, the rotational degrees of freedom of the N-substituent of 3 were limited by incorporation of an ethylene bridge between the piperidine 2- or 6-position of 3 and the benzylic position of the N-phenethyl moiety. The overall modification led to a novel series of fused bicyclic derivatives of the octahydroquinolizine chemical class, conformationally restricted analogue of 3. The constrained analogues 6 and 9 showed high affinity toward the mu-opioid receptor. Compound 6 was found to be a mu-opioid antagonist, whereas the constrained analogue 9 displayed potent mu-agonist activity in vitro. This study provides additional information about the molecular determinants for mu recognition, the structural features affecting ligand binding, and the structure function relationships.

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