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J Med Chem. 1987 Aug;30(8):1529-32.

Binary drugs: conjugates of purines and a peptide that bind to both adenosine and substance P receptors.


A "functionalized congener" approach to adenosine receptor antagonists has provided a means to synthesize highly potent peptide conjugates of 1,3-dialkylxanthines. The antagonist XAC, such a functionalized xanthine amine congener, has been attached to a segment derived from the neurotransmitter peptide substance P (SP) to form a binary drug that binds to both receptors with Ki values of 35 nM (central A1-adenosine) and 300 nM (striatal SP). Coupling of the functionalized adenosine agonist N6-[p-(carboxymethyl)phenyl]adenosine to an SP C-terminal peptide also resulted in a binary drug that binds to both receptors. The demonstration that the biochemical properties of two unrelated drugs, both of which act through binding at extracellular receptors, may be combined in the same molecule suggests a novel strategy for drug design. In principle, a combined effect of the two different substances that produce the same final effect (e.g., hypotension by adenosine agonists and by SP analogues) might occur in vivo. Adenosine analogues have analgesic properties, and the binary drug derived from substance P and adenosine agonists or antagonists might provide useful tools for probing interrelationships of SP pathways and sites for the antinociceptive action of adenosine.

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