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Nociceptin/orphanin FQ (N/OFQ) controls different biological functions via selective stimulation of the N/OFQ peptide (NOP) receptor. The pleiotropic actions of N/OFQ may limit the development of NOP ligands as innovative drugs in different therapeutic areas. The pharmacological concept of functional selectivity (aka biased agonism) might be useful for amplifying beneficial actions and/or counteracting side effects. Thus, molecules with large bias factors toward G protein or β arrestin are required for investigating the translational value of NOP biased modulation. Herein, the biased behavior of a heterogeneous library of NOP-targeting peptide derivatives was evaluated in vitro with the aim to provide possible insights into the structural determinants that govern the selective activation of G protein versus β-arrestin. Our results demonstrate that lipidation of N/OFQ(1-13)-NH2 is a useful strategy for obtaining G protein biased agonists for the NOP receptor.


Salvatore Pacifico, Federica Ferrari, Valentina Albanese, Erika Marzola, Joaquim Azevedo Neto, Chiara Ruzza, Girolamo Calò, Delia Preti, Remo Guerrini. Biased Agonism at Nociceptin/Orphanin FQ Receptors: A Structure Activity Study on N/OFQ(1-13)-NH2. Journal of medicinal chemistry. 2020 Oct 08;63(19):10782-10795

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PMID: 32901477

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