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Papers of the Week

Papers: 9 Dec 2023 - 15 Dec 2023

2023 Dec 14

J Med Chem


All-Hydrocarbon Stapled Peptide Multifunctional Agonists at Opioid and Neuropeptide FF Receptors: Highly Potent, Long-Lasting Brain Permeant Analgesics with Diminished Side Effects.


Zhang M, Xu B, Li N, Zhang Q, Chen D, Wu S, Yu B, Zhang X, Hu X, Zhang S, Jing Y, Yang Z, Jiang J, Fang Q


Our previous study reported the multifunctional agonist for opioid and neuropeptide FF receptors DN-9, along with its cyclic peptide analogues c[-Cys, Cys]-DN-9 and c[-Lys, Asp]-DN-9. These analogues demonstrated potent antinociceptive effects with reduced opioid-related side effects. To develop more stable and effective analgesics, we designed, synthesized, and evaluated seven hydrocarbon-stapled cyclic peptides based on DN-9. calcium mobilization assays revealed that most of the stapled peptides, except , displayed multifunctional agonistic activities at opioid and neuropeptide FF receptors. Subcutaneous administration of all stapled peptides resulted in effective and long-lasting antinociceptive activities lasting up to 360 min. Among these stapled peptides, and emerged as the optimized compounds, producing potent central antinociception following subcutaneous, intracerebroventricular, and oral administrations. Additionally, subcutaneous administration of and caused nontolerance antinociception, with limited occurrence of constipation and addiction. Furthermore, was selected as the final optimized compound due to its wider safety window compared to .