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J Med Chem. 2015 Nov 25;58(22):8952-69. doi: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.5b01270. Epub 2015 Nov 13.

Further Optimization and Evaluation of Bioavailable, Mixed-Efficacy μ-Opioid Receptor (MOR) Agonists/δ-Opioid Receptor (DOR) Antagonists: Balancing MOR and DOR Affinities.

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Interdepartmental Program in Medicinal Chemistry, ‡Department of Medicinal Chemistry, College of Pharmacy, and §Department of Pharmacology, Medical School, University of Michigan , Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109, United States.


In a previously described peptidomimetic series, we reported the development of bifunctional μ-opioid receptor (MOR) agonist and δ-opioid receptor (DOR) antagonist ligands with a lead compound that produced antinociception for 1 h after intraperitoneal administration in mice. In this paper, we expand on our original series by presenting two modifications, both of which were designed with the following objectives: (1) probing bioavailability and improving metabolic stability, (2) balancing affinities between MOR and DOR while reducing affinity and efficacy at the κ-opioid receptor (KOR), and (3) improving in vivo efficacy. Here, we establish that, through N-acetylation of our original peptidomimetic series, we are able to improve DOR affinity and increase selectivity relative to KOR while maintaining the desired MOR agonist/DOR antagonist profile. From initial in vivo studies, one compound (14a) was found to produce dose-dependent antinociception after peripheral administration with an improved duration of action of longer than 3 h.

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