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While the melanocortin receptors (MCRs) are known to be involved in numerous biological pathways, the potential roles of the MC5R have not been clearly elucidated in humans. Agouti-related protein (AgRP), an MC3R/MC4R antagonist and MC4R inverse agonist, contains an exposed β-hairpin loop composed of six residues (Arg-Phe-Phe-Asn-Ala-Phe) that is imperative for binding and function. Within this active loop of AgRP, four human missense polymorphisms were deposited into the NIH Variation Viewer database. These polymorphisms, Arg111Cys, Arg111His, Phe112Tyr, and Ala115Val (AgRP full-length numbering), were incorporated into the peptide macrocycles c[Pro1-Arg2-Phe3-Phe4-Xaa5-Ala6-Phe7-dPro8], where Xaa was Dap5 or Asn5, to explore the functional effects of these naturally occurring substitutions in a simplified AgRP scaffold. All peptides lowered potency at least 10-fold in a cAMP accumulation assay compared to the parent sequences at the MC4Rs. Compounds MDE 6-82-3c, ZMK 2-82, MDE 6-82-1c, ZMK 2-85, and ZMK 2-112 are also the first AgRP-based chemotypes that antagonize the MC5R.


Zoe M Koerperich, Mark D Ericson, Katie T Freeman, Robert C Speth, Irina D Pogozheva, Henry I Mosberg, Carrie Haskell-Luevano. Incorporation of Agouti-Related Protein (AgRP) Human Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) in the AgRP-Derived Macrocyclic Scaffold c[Pro-Arg-Phe-Phe-Asn-Ala-Phe-dPro] Decreases Melanocortin-4 Receptor Antagonist Potency and Results in the Discovery of Melanocortin-5 Receptor Antagonists. Journal of medicinal chemistry. 2020 Mar 12;63(5):2194-2208

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PMID: 31845801

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