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Bioorg Med Chem. 2011 Jul 15;19(14):4330-7. doi: 10.1016/j.bmc.2011.05.035. Epub 2011 May 24.

Probes for narcotic receptor mediated phenomena. 43. Synthesis of the ortho-a and para-a, and improved synthesis and optical resolution of the ortho-b and para-b oxide-bridged phenylmorphans: compounds with moderate to low opioid-receptor affinity.

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Drug Design and Synthesis Section, Chemical Biology Research Branch, National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, 5625 Fishers Lane, Room 4N03, Bethesda, MD 20892-9415, USA.


N-Phenethyl-substituted ortho-a and para-a oxide-bridged phenylmorphans have been obtained through an improved synthesis and their binding affinity examined at the various opioid receptors. Although the N-phenethyl substituent showed much greater affinity for μ- and κ-opioid receptors than their N-methyl relatives (e.g., K(i)=167 nM and 171 nM at μ- and κ-receptors vs >2800 and 7500 nM for the N-methyl ortho-a oxide-bridged phenylmorphan), the a-isomers were not examined further because of their relatively low affinity. The N-phenethyl substituted ortho-b and para-b oxide-bridged phenylmorphans were also synthesized and their enantiomers were obtained using supercritical fluid chromatography. Of the four enantiomers, only the (+)-ortho-b isomer had moderate affinity for μ- and κ-receptors (K(i)=49 and 42 nM, respectively, and it was found to also have moderate μ- and κ-opioid antagonist activity in the [(35)S]GTP-γ-S assay (K(e)=31 and 26 nM).

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