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Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2013 Apr 1;23(7):2128-33. doi: 10.1016/j.bmcl.2013.01.117. Epub 2013 Feb 8.

Redefining the structure-activity relationships of 2,6-methano-3-benzazocines. Part 9: Synthesis, characterization and molecular modeling of pyridinyl isosteres of N-BPE-8-CAC (1), a high affinity ligand for opioid receptors.

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Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY 12180, USA.


Derivatives of the lead compound N-BPE-8-CAC (1) where each CH of the biphenyl group was individually replaced by N were prepared in hopes of identifying high affinity ligands with improved aqueous solubility. Compared to 1, binding affinities of the five possible pyridinyl derivatives for the μ opioid receptor were between threefold lower to fivefold higher with the Ki of the most potent compound being 0.064 nM. Docking of 8-CAC (2) into the unliganded binding site of the mouse μ opioid receptor (pdb: 4DKL) revealed that 8-CAC and β-FNA (from 4DKL) make nearly identical interactions with the receptor. However, for 1 and the new pyridinyl derivatives 4-8, binding is not tolerated in the 8-CAC binding mode due to the steric constraints of the large N-substituents. Either an alternative binding mode or rearrangement of the protein to accommodate these modifications may account for their high binding affinity.

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