New growth hormone secretagogues
Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, Milano, Lombardy, ItalyLetters in Peptide Science 05/2001; 8(3-5):187-193. DOI: 10.1007/BF02446516
Starting from EP 51389, a potent growth hormone secretagogue (GHS), a new series of GHS has been designed, synthesized and tested. This series was built on a gem-diamino moiety and a structure activity relationship study was performed including N-methylation of the amide bonds. Some analogues exhibited more powerful activity than Hexarelin, they were active per os on dog and have been selected as candidates for further development.
Article: Peptide Synthesis
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ABSTRACT: Three homology models of the human ghrelin receptor (GHS-R1a) have been generated from the available X-ray structures of rhodopsin (RHO model), opsin (OPS model) and beta-2 adrenergic receptor (B2 model). The latter was used as a starting point for combined molecular dynamics simulation (MDS) and full atom normal modes analysis (NMA). A low-frequency normal mode (mode 16) perfectly reproduced the intracellular motions observed between B2 and RHO models; in the opposite direction along the same mode, the generated structures are closer to the OPS model, suggesting a direct link with GHS-R1a activation. This was in agreement with motions of the seven transmembranous segments, increase of the solvent accessibility of the 140-ERY-142 sequence, and flip of the Trp276 (C WLP) residue, some features related to GPCRs activation. According to our model, His280 was proposed to stabilize Trp276 in the active state; this was verified by site-directed mutagenesis and biochemical characterization of the resulting H280A and H280S mutants, which were fully functional but sharing an important decrease of their basal activities. Docking performed with short ghrelin derivatives Gly-Ser-Ser ([octa])-Phe-NH (2) and Gly-Ser-Ser ([octa])-Phe-Leu-NH (2) allowed the identification of a robust position of these peptides in the active site of the receptor. This model was refined by MDS and validated by docking experiments performed on a set of 55 ghrelin receptor ligands based on the 1,2,4- triazole scaffold. Finally, NMA performed on the obtained peptide-receptor complex suggested stabilization of the Trp276 residue and of the whole receptor in the active state, preventing the motion observed along mode 16 computed for the unbound receptor. Our results show that NMA offers a powerful approach to study the conformational diversity and the activation mechanism of GPCRs.
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ABSTRACT: A simple, efficient two-step synthesis of N-protected N′-formyl-gem-diaminoalkyl derivatives is reported. The procedure involves the unprecedented reduction of the carbamoyl azide of α-N-Boc/Fmoc/Z-protected amino acids and dipeptides (Boc = tert-butoxycarbonyl, Fmoc = 9-fluorenylmethoxycarbonyl, Z = benzyloxycarbonyl) by treatment with NaBH4 at room temperature. The reaction proceeds rapidly (45 min) without detectable epimerization (by HPLC-ESI-MS analysis) and is not influenced by the nature of the starting carbamoyl azide. The 1H and 13C NMR analyses of the synthesized N-protected N′-formamides were carried out in [D6]DMSO. The spectra exhibited the presence of two rotameric forms in solution as a result of the restricted rotation around the N–CO formyl bond. The integration of the N–CH–N protons of the two isomers showed that the cis isomer (rotamer B) was the more abundant conformer by 60 to 78 %. The reported synthesis represents the potential value of carbamoyl azides as versatile chiral starting materials for many synthetic purposes.
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