Author(s): Liu WX, Wang R
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Abstract The application of endomorphins as clinical available analgesic drugs has been impeded by their relatively poor receptor selectivity compared with alkaloid analgesics, rapid degradation in vivo, inefficient to penetrate the blood-brain barrier (BBB), and undesirable or toxic effects, such as acute tolerance and physical dependence, respiratory depression, and inhibition of gastrointestinal motility. Extensive studies have been performed so far striving to conquer these problems. In this article we review and discuss conformational and topographical modifications of the peptide amide bond and amino acid side groups to attain the most appropriate receptor binding affinity and high receptor selectivity; diverse strategies such as insertion of unnatural amino acids, covalent or noncovalent constraints as well as cyclization of linear peptides to enhance the enzymatic stability; designing of peptidomimetic ligands, glycopeptides, and N-terminal amidinationed analogues (such as incorporating guanidine into endomorphins) to penetrate the BBB. Also, several pertinent examples of bivalent and/or multivalent (such as mixed µ-agonist/δ-antagonist profile) compounds are discussed based on the existing literature and current data intending to give an insight into the development of opioid peptides expressing low tendency to produce acute tolerance and physical dependence. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
This article was published in Med Res Rev
and referenced in Medicinal Chemistry