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To synthesize potent antagonists of the mu-opioid receptor, we prepared a series of endomorphin-1 and endomorphin-2 analogues with 3-(1-naphthyl)-d-alanine (d-1-Nal) or 3-(2-naphthyl)-d-alanine (d-2-Nal) in position 4. Some of these analogues displayed weak antagonist properties. We tried to strengthen these properties by introducing the structurally modified tyrosine residue 2,6-dimethyltyrosine (Dmt) in place of Tyr1. Among the synthesized compounds, [Dmt1, d-2-Nal4]endomorphin-1, designated antanal-1, and [Dmt1, d-2-Nal4]endomorphin-2, designated antanal-2, turned out to be highly potent and selective mu-opioid receptor antagonists, as judged on the basis of two functional assays, the receptor binding assay and the hot plate test of analgesia. Interestingly, another analogue of this series, [Dmt1, d-1-Nal4]endomorphin-1, turned out to be a moderately potent mixed mu-agonist/delta-antagonist.


Jakub Fichna, Jean-Claude do-Rego, Nga N Chung, Carole Lemieux, Peter W Schiller, Jeroen Poels, Jozef Vanden Broeck, Jean Costentin, Anna Janecka. Synthesis and characterization of potent and selective mu-opioid receptor antagonists, [Dmt(1), D-2-Nal(4)]endomorphin-1 (Antanal-1) and [Dmt(1), D-2-Nal(4)]endomorphin-2 (Antanal-2). Journal of medicinal chemistry. 2007 Feb 8;50(3):512-20

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PMID: 17266203

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