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Papers of the Week

Papers: 30 Jan 2021 - 5 Feb 2021

Animal Studies, Pharmacology/Drug Development

2021 Feb 04

J Med Chem

Design, Structural Optimization, and Characterization of the First Selective Macrocyclic Neurotensin Receptor Type 2 Non-opioid Analgesic.


Chartier M, Desgagné M, Sousbie M, Côté J, Longpré J-M, Marsault E, Sarret P
J Med Chem. 2021 Feb 04.
PMID: 33538583.


Neurotensin (NT) receptor type 2 (NTS2) represents an attractive target for the development of new NT-based analgesics. Here, we report the synthesis and functional characterization of the first constrained NTS2-selective macrocyclic NT analog. While most chemical optimization studies rely on the NT(8-13) fragment, we focused on NT(7-12) as a scaffold to design NTS2-selective macrocyclic peptides. Replacement of Ile by Leu, and Pro/Pro by allylglycine residues followed by cyclization via ring-closing metathesis led to macrocycle , which exhibits good affinity for NTS2 (50 nM), high selectivity over NTS1 (>100 μM), and improved stability compared to NT(8-13). profiling in rats reveals that macrocycle produces potent analgesia in three distinct rodent pain models, without causing the undesired effects associated with NTS1 activation. We further provide evidence of its non-opioid antinociceptive activity, therefore highlighting the strong therapeutic potential of NTS2-selective analogs for the management of acute and chronic pain.