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J Med Chem. 1994 Apr 15;37(8):1136-44.

Cyclic beta-casomorphin analogues with mixed mu agonist/delta antagonist properties: synthesis, pharmacological characterization, and conformational aspects.

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Laboratory of Chemical Biology and Peptide Research, Clinical Research Institute of Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


Analogues of the potent and moderately mu-opioid-receptor-selective cyclic beta-casomorphin-5 derivative H-Tyr-c[-D-Orn-Phe-D-Pro-Gly-] (2) were prepared by conventional solution synthesis. Replacement of the Phe3 residue by 2-naphthylalanine (2-Nal) led to a peptide (4) with high affinity for both mu and delta opioid receptors. This compound turned out to be an agonist in the mu-receptor-representative guinea pig ileum (GPI) assay but a moderately potent antagonist against various delta agonists in the delta-receptor-representative mouse vas deferens (MVD) assay. It thus represents the first known cyclic opioid peptide analogue with mixed mu agonist/delta antagonist properties. Interestingly, replacement of 2-Nal3 in compound 4 with 1-naphthylalanine (1-Nal) resulted in an analogue (5) showing high affinity for mu receptors and a full agonist effect in the MVD assay that was mediated by both mu and delta receptors. Substitution of Trp for Phe3 in 2 (compound 8) was well tolerated at both receptors and led to an analogue with agonist activity in both the GPI and MVD assays. Variation of the peptide ring size in 4 was achieved by substitution of D-Orn2 with D-Lys (compound 6) or D-2,4-diaminobutyric acid (compound 7). Analogue 6 was also a mixed mu agonist/delta antagonist with somewhat lower potency than 4, whereas compound 7 displayed mu agonist and partial delta agonist properties. Further reduction of the peptide ring size, as achieved by deletion of the Gly5 residue, produced a compound (9) which was a full agonist in both bioassays. Conformational analysis of analogues 2, 4, and 5 by 1H NMR spectroscopy and molecular mechanics studies suggested that the overall conformation of parent compound 2 and the 2-Nal-containing peptide 4 was similar, while the side-chain orientation of 1-Nal in peptide 5 was different. These results suggest that the delta antagonist properties of analogue 4 may not be due to a difference in its overall conformation as compared to the agonist 2 but may be a direct effect of the 2-naphthyl moiety per se preventing proper alignment of the peptide for receptor activation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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