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J Med Chem. 2017 Jul 27;60(14):6089-6097. doi: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.7b00330. Epub 2017 Jul 18.

Potent Body Weight-Lowering Effect of a Neuromedin U Receptor 2-selective PEGylated Peptide.

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Pharmaceutical Research Division, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, Ltd. , Fujisawa, 251-8555, Japan.


Neuromedin U (NMU) is a neuropeptide that mediates a variety of physiological functions via its receptors, NMUR1 and NMUR2. Recently, there has been an increased focus on NMU as a promising treatment option for diabetes and obesity. A short form of NMU (NMU-8) has potent agonist activity for both receptors but is metabolically unstable. Therefore, we designed and synthesized NMU-8 analogues modified by polyethylene glycol (PEG; molecular weight, 20 kDa; PEG20k) via a linker. 3-(2-Naphthyl)alanine substitution at position 19 increased NMUR2 selectivity of NMU-8 analogues with retention of high agonist activity. Compound 37, an NMUR2-selective PEG20k analogue containing piperazin-1-ylacetyl linker, exhibited a potent body weight-lowering effect with concomitant inhibition of food intake in a dose-dependent manner (body weight loss of 12.4% at 30 nmol/kg) by once-daily repeated dosing for 2 weeks in mice with diet-induced obesity.

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