Mixed kappa/mu opioid receptor agonists: the 6 beta-naltrexamines.
ABSTRACT: Ligands from the naltrexamine series have consistently demonstrated agonist activity at kappa opioid receptors (KOR), with varying activity at the mu opioid receptor (MOR). Various 6 beta-cinnamoylamino derivatives were made with the aim of generating ligands with a KOR agonist/MOR partial agonist profile, as ligands with this activity may be of interest as treatment agents for cocaine abuse. The ligands all displayed the desired high affinity, nonselective binding in vitro and in the functional assays were high efficacy KOR agonists with some partial agonist activity at MOR. Two of the new ligands (12a, 12b) have been evaluated in vivo, with 12a acting as a KOR agonist and therefore somewhat similar to the previously evaluated analogues 3-6, while 12b displayed predominant MOR agonist activity.
Project description:Opioid receptor selective antagonists are important pharmacological probes in opioid receptor structural characterization and opioid agonist functional study. Thus far, a nonpeptidyl, highly selective and reversible mu opioid receptor (MOR) antagonist is unavailable. On the basis of our modeling studies, a series of novel naltrexamine derivatives have been designed and synthesized. Among them, two compounds were identified as leads based on the results of in vitro and in vivo assays. Both of them displayed high binding affinity for the MOR (K(i) = 0.37 and 0.55 nM). Compound 6 (NAP) showed over 700-fold selectivity for the MOR over the delta receptor (DOR) and more than 150-fold selectivity over the kappa receptor (KOR). Compound 9 (NAQ) showed over 200-fold selectivity for the MOR over the DOR and approximately 50-fold selectivity over the KOR. Thus these two novel ligands will serve as leads to further develop more potent and selective antagonists for the MOR.
Project description:The 6?-N-heterocyclic naltrexamine derivative, NAP, has been demonstrated to be a peripherally selective mu opioid receptor modulator. To further improve peripheral selectivity of this highly potent ligand, its pyridal ring was quaterinized with benzyl bromide to produce BNAP. In radioligand binding assay, the Ki of BNAP for MOR was 0.76 ± 0.09 nM and was >900-fold more selective for MOR than DOR. The Ki for KOR was 3.46 ± 0.05 nM. In [(35)S]GTP?S ligand stimulated assay, BNAP showed low agonist efficacy with 14.6% of the maximum response of DAMGO with an EC50 of 4.84 ± 0.6 nM. However, unlike its parent compound NAP, BNAP displayed partial agonist activity at KOR with % maximum response at 45.9 ± 1.7% of U50,488H. BNAP did not reverse morphine-induced antinociception when administered subcutaneously but did antagonize when administered intracerebroventricularly. BNAP antagonized morphine-induced contractions of the circular muscle in mice colon. BNAP inhibition of field-stimulated contractions in longitudinal muscle strips for the guinea-pig ileum were also blocked by nor-BNI, a kappa opioid receptor antagonist. BNAP induced inhibition of acetic acid induced abdominal stretching in chronic morphine treated mice. These findings suggest that BNAP is a dual MOR antagonist/KOR agonist and may have functional use in irritable bowel patients.
Project description:Dual-acting kappa opioid receptor (KOR) agonist and mu opioid receptor (MOR) partial agonist ligands have been put forward as potential treatment agents for cocaine and other psychostimulant abuse. Members of the orvinol series of ligands are known for their high binding affinity to both KOR and MOR, but efficacy at the individual receptors has not been thoroughly evaluated. In this study, it is shown that a predictive model for efficacy at KOR can be derived, with efficacy being controlled by the length of the group attached to C20 and by the introduction of branching into the side chain. In vivo evaluation of two ligands with the desired in vitro profile confirms both display KOR, and to a lesser extent MOR, activity in an analgesic assay suggesting that, in this series, in vitro measures of efficacy using the [(35)S]GTP?S assay are predictive of the in vivo profile.
Project description:In an effort to expand the structure-activity relationship (SAR) studies of a series of mixed-efficacy opioid ligands, peptidomimetics that incorporate methoxy and hydroxy groups around a benzyl or 2-methylindanyl pendant on a tetrahydroquinoline (THQ) core of the peptidomimetics were evaluated. Compounds containing a methoxy or hydroxy moiety in the o- or m-positions increased binding affinity to the kappa opioid receptor (KOR), whereas compounds containing methoxy or hydroxy groups in the p-position decreased KOR affinity and reduced or eliminated efficacy at the mu opioid receptor (MOR). The results from a substituted 2-methylindanyl series aligned with the findings from the substituted benzyl series. Our studies culminated in the development of 8c, a mixed-efficacy MOR agonist/KOR agonist with subnanomolar binding affinity for both MOR and KOR.
Project description:The opioid crisis is a significant public health issue with more than 115 people dying from opioid overdose per day in the United States. The aim of the present study was to characterize the in vitro and in vivo pharmacological effects of 17-cyclopropylmethyl-3,14?-dihydroxy-4,5?-epoxy-6?-(indole-7-carboxamido)morphinan (NAN), a ? opioid receptor (MOR) ligand that may be a potential candidate for opioid use disorder treatment that produces less withdrawal signs than naltrexone. The efficacy of NAN was compared to varying efficacy ligands at the MOR, and determined at the ? opioid receptor (DOR) and ? opioid receptor (KOR). NAN was identified as a low efficacy partial agonist for G-protein activation at the MOR and DOR, but had relatively high efficacy at the KOR. In contrast to high efficacy MOR agonists, NAN did not induce MOR internalization, downregulation, or desensitization, but it antagonized agonist-induced MOR internalization and stimulation of intracellular Ca2+ release. Opioid withdrawal studies conducted using morphine-pelleted mice demonstrated that NAN precipitated significantly less withdrawal signs than naltrexone at similar doses. Furthermore, NAN failed to produce fentanyl-like discriminative stimulus effects in rats up to doses that produced dose- and time-dependent antagonism of fentanyl. Overall, these results provide converging lines of evidence that NAN functions mainly as a MOR antagonist and support further consideration of NAN as a candidate medication for opioid use disorder treatment.
Project description:Most opioid analgesics used in the treatment of pain are mu opioid receptor (MOR) agonists. While effective, there are significant drawbacks to opioid use, including the development of tolerance and dependence. However, the coadministration of a MOR agonist with a delta opioid receptor (DOR) antagonist slows the development of MOR-related side effects, while maintaining analgesia. We have previously reported a series of cyclic mixed efficacy MOR agonist/DOR antagonist ligands. Here we describe the transfer of key features from these cyclic analogs to linear sequences. Using the linear MOR/DOR agonist, Tyr-DThr-Gly-Phe-Leu-Ser-NH2 (DTLES), as a lead scaffold, we replaced Phe(4) with bulkier and/or constrained aromatic residues shown to confer DOR antagonism in our cyclic ligands. These replacements failed to confer DOR antagonism in the DTLES analogs, presumably because the more flexible linear ligands can adopt binding poses that will fit in the narrow binding pocket of the active conformations of both MOR and DOR. Nonetheless, the pharmacological profile observed in this series, high affinity and efficacy for MOR and DOR with selectivity relative to KOR, has also been shown to reduce the development of unwanted side effects. We further modified our lead MOR/DOR agonist with a C-terminal glucoserine to improve bioavailability. The resulting ligand displayed high efficacy and potency at both MOR and DOR and no efficacy at KOR.
Project description:Two 6?- N-heterocyclic naltrexamine derivatives, NAP and NMP, have been identified as peripherally selective mu opioid receptor (MOR) antagonists. To further enhance the peripheral selectivity of both compounds, the 17-amino group and the nitrogen atom of the pyridine ring in both NAP and NMP were methylated to obtain dMNAP and dMNMP, respectively. Compared with NAP and NMP, the binding affinities of dMNAP and dMNMP shifted to MOR and KOR (kappa opioid receptor) dual selective and they acted as moderate efficacy partial agonists. The results from radioligand binding studies were further confirmed by molecular docking studies. In vivo studies demonstrated that dMNAP and dMNMP did not produce antinociception nor did they antagonize morphine's antinociceptive activity, indicating that these compounds did not act on the central nervous system. Meanwhile, both dMNAP and dMNMP significantly slowed down fecal excretion, which indicated that they were peripherally acting opioid receptor agonists. All together, these results suggested that dMNAP and dMNMP acted as peripheral mu/kappa opioid receptor modulators and may be applicable in the treatment of diarrhea in patients with bowel dysfunction.
Project description:Mounting evidence has suggested that G protein-coupled receptors can be stabilized in multiple conformations in response to distinct ligands, which exert discrete functions through selective activation of various downstream signaling events. In accordance with this concept, we report biased signaling of one C6-heterocyclic substituted naltrexamine derivative, namely, 17-cyclopropylmethyl-3,14?-dihydroxy-4,5?-epoxy-6?-(4'-pyridylcarboxamido)morphinan (NAP) at the mu opioid receptor (MOR). NAP acted as a low efficacy MOR partial agonist in the G protein-mediated [(35)S]GTP?S binding assay, whereas it did not significantly induce calcium flux or ?-arrestin2 recruitment. In contrast, it potently blocked MOR full agonist-induced ?-arrestin2 recruitment and translocation. Additionally, NAP dose-dependently antagonized MOR full agonist-induced intracellular calcium flux and ?-arrestin2 recruitment. Further results in an isolated organ bath preparation confirmed that NAP reversed the morphine-induced reduction in colon motility. Ligand docking and dynamics simulation studies of NAP at the MOR provided more supporting evidence for biased signaling of NAP at an atomic level. Due to the fact that NAP is MOR selective and preferentially distributed peripherally upon systemic administration while ?-arrestin2 is reportedly required for impairment of intestinal motility by morphine, biased antagonism of ?-arrestin2 recruitment by NAP further supports its utility as a treatment for opioid-induced constipation.
Project description:We have previously shown that cinnamoyl derivatives of 14?-amino-17-cyclopropylmethyl-7,8-dihydronormorphinone and 7?-aminomethyl-6,14-endoethanonororipavine have pronounced pseudoirreversible ? opioid receptor (MOR) antagonism. The present communication describes the synthesis and evaluation of fumaroylamino analogues of these cinnamoylamino derivatives together with some related fumaroyl derivatives. The predominant activity of the new ligands was MOR antagonism. The fumaroylamino analogues (2a, 5a) of the pseudoirreversible antagonist cinnamoylamino morphinones and oripavines (2b, 5b) were themselves irreversible antagonists in vivo. However the fumaroylamino derivatives had significantly higher MOR efficacy than the cinnamoylamino derivatives in mouse antinociceptive tests. Comparison of 2a and 5a with the prototypic fumaroylamino opioid ?-FNA (1a) shows that they have similar MOR irreversible antagonist actions but differ in the nature of their opioid receptor agonist effects; 2a is a predominant MOR agonist and 5a shows no opioid receptor selectivity, whereas the agonist effect of ?-FNA is clearly ? opioid receptor (KOR) mediated.
Project description:Chronic use of mu-opioid agonists has been shown to cause neurochemical adaptations resulting in tolerance and dependence. While the analgesic effects of these drugs are mediated by mu-opioid receptors (MOR), several studies have shown that antagonism or knockdown of delta-opioid receptors (DOR) can lessen or prevent development of tolerance and dependence. On the basis of computational modeling of putative active and inactive conformations of MOR and DOR, we have synthesized a series of pentapeptides with the goal of developing a MOR agonist/DOR antagonist peptide with similar affinity at both receptors as a tool to probe functional opioid receptor interaction(s). The eight resulting naphthylalanine-substituted cyclic pentapeptides displayed variable mixed-efficacy profiles. The most promising peptide (9; Tyr-c(S-CH(2)-S)[D-Cys-Phe-2-Nal-Cys]NH(2)) displayed a MOR agonist and DOR partial agonist/antagonist profile and bound with equipotent affinity (K(i) approximately 0.5 nM) to both receptors, but also showed kappa opioid receptor (KOR) agonist activity.