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J Med Chem. 2008 Aug 28;51(16):5109-17. doi: 10.1021/jm800587e. Epub 2008 Aug 5.

Further studies on lead compounds containing the opioid pharmacophore Dmt-Tic.

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Department of Toxicology, University of Cagliari, I-09124 Cagliari, Italy.


Some reference opioids containing the Dmt-Tic pharmacophore, especially the delta agonists H-Dmt-Tic-Gly-NH-Ph (1) and H-Dmt-Tic-NH-(S)CH(CH2-COOH)-Bid (4) (UFP-512) were evaluated for the influence of the substitution of Gly with aspartic acid, its chirality, and the importance of the -NH-Ph and N(1)H-Bid hydrogens in the inductions of delta agonism. The results provide the following conclusions: (i) Asp increases delta selectivity by lowering the mu affinity; (ii) -NH-Ph and N(1)H-Bid nitrogens methylation transforms the delta agonists into delta antagonists; (iii) the substitution of Gly with L-Asp/D-Asp in the delta agonist H-Dmt-Tic-Gly-NH-Ph gave delta antagonists; the same substitution in the delta agonist H-Dmt-Tic-NH-CH2-Bid yielded more selective agonists, H-Dmt-Tic-NH-(S)CH(CH2-COOH)-Bid and H-Dmt-Tic-NH-(R)CH(CH2-COOH)-Bid; (iv) L-Asp seems important only in functional bioactivity, not in receptor affinity; (v) H-Dmt-Tic-NH-(S)CH(CH2-COOH)-Bid(N(1)-Me) (10) evidenced analgesia similar to 4, which was reversed by naltrindole only in the tail flick. 4 and 10 had opposite behaviours in mice; 4 caused agitation, 10 gave sedation and convulsions.

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