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J Pept Res. 2005 Feb;65(2):284-91.

Synthesis and biological activity of GnRH antagonists modified at position 3 with 3-(2-methoxy-5-pyridyl)-alanine.

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The Clayton Foundation Laboratories for Peptide Biology, The Salk Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.


Degarelix is a potent very long-acting GnRH antagonist after subcutaneous administration. In this paper, we describe the synthesis of two analogs of degarelix incorporating racemic 3-(2-methoxy-5-pyridyl)-alanine (2-OMe-5Pal, 5) at position 3. The two diastereomers were separated by reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC) and the absolute stereochemistry at position 3 in the peptides was determined by enzymatic digestion with proteinase K. These analogs were tested in vitro for their ability to antagonize the GnRH receptor and in vivo for duration of action in a castrated male rat assay. Analog 7 with D2-OMe-5Pal was potent in vitro (IC50 = 5.22 nM); however, analog 8 with L2-OMe-5Pal at position 3 in degarelix lost potency as an antagonist of the human GnRH receptor (IC50 = 36.95 nM). Both the analogs were found to be short-acting in vivo.

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