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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Topographically designed analogues of [D-Pen,D-Pen5]enkephalin.

The conformationally restricted, cyclic disulfide-containing delta opioid receptor selective enkephalin analogue [D-Pen2,D-Pen5]enkephalin (1, DPDPE) was systematically modified topographically by addition of a methyl group at either the pro-S or pro-R position of the beta carbon of an L-Phe4 or D-Phe4 residue to give [(2S,3S)-beta-MePhe4]DPDPE (2), [(2R,3R)-beta-MePhe4]DPDPE (3), [(2S,3R)-beta-MePhe4]DPDPE (4), and [(2R,3S)-beta-MePhe4]DPDPE (5). The four corresponding isomers were prepared in which the beta-methylphenylalanine residue was p-nitro substituted, that is with a beta-methyl-p-nitrophenylalanine (beta-Me-p-NO2Phe) residue, to give [(2S,3S)-beta-Me-p-NO2Phe4]DPDPE (6), [(2R,3R)-beta-Me-p-NO2Phe4]DPDPE (7), [(2S,3R)-beta-Me-p-NO2Phe4] DPDPE (8), and [(2R,3S)-beta-Me-p-NO2Phe4]DPDPE (9), respectively. The potency and selectivity (delta vs mu opioid receptor) were evaluated by radioreceptor binding assays in the rat brain using [3H]CTOP (mu ligand) and [3H]DPDPE (delta ligand) and by bioassay with mouse vas deferens (MVD, delta receptor assay) and guinea pig ileum ( GPI, mu receptor assay). The eight analogues of DPDPE showed highly variable binding and bioassay activities particularly at the delta opioid receptor (4 orders of magnitude), but also at the mu opioid receptor, which led to large differences (3 orders of magnitude) in receptor selectivity. For example, [(2S,3S)-beta-MePhe4]DPDPE (2) is 1800-fold selective in binding to the delta vs mu receptor, making it one of the most selective delta opioid receptor ligands in the enkephalin series as assessed by the rat brain binding assay, whereas the corresponding (2R,3R)-beta-Me-p-NO2Phe-containing analogue 9 is only 4.5-fold selective (nonselective) in this same assay. On the other hand, in the bioassay systems, [(2S,3S)-beta-Me-p-NO2Phe4]DPDPE (5) is more potent than DPDPE and 8800-fold selective for the MVD (delta receptor) vs the GPI (mu receptor), making it the most highly selective ligand in this series for the delta opioid receptor on the basis of these bioassays. In these assay systems, the (2R,3S)-beta-MePhe4-containing analogue 5 had very weak potency and virtually no receptor selectivity (4.4-fold). These results demonstrate that topographical modification alone in a conformationally restricted peptide ligand can significantly modulate both potency and receptor selectivity of peptide ligands that have multiple sites of biological activity and suggest that this approach may have general application to peptide ligand design.[1]


  1. Topographically designed analogues of [D-Pen,D-Pen5]enkephalin. Hruby, V.J., Toth, G., Gehrig, C.A., Kao, L.F., Knapp, R., Lui, G.K., Yamamura, H.I., Kramer, T.H., Davis, P., Burks, T.F. J. Med. Chem. (1991) [Pubmed]
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