Identification of the First Marine-Derived Opioid Receptor "Balanced" Agonist with a Signaling Profile That Resembles the Endorphins.
Digital Object Identifier / DOI
Natural Sciences and Mathematics
ACS Chemical Neuroscience
Opioid therapeutics are excellent analgesics, whose utility is compromised by dependence. Morphine (1) and its clinically relevant derivatives such as OxyContin (2), Vicodin (3), and Dilaudid (4) are "biased" agonists at the μ opioid receptor (OR), wherein they engage G protein signaling but poorly engage β-arrestin and the endocytic machinery. In contrast, endorphins, the endogenous peptide agonists for ORs, are potent analgesics, show reduced liability for tolerance and dependence, and engage both G protein and β-arrestin pathways as "balanced" agonists. We set out to determine if marine-derived alkaloids could serve as novel OR agonist chemotypes with a signaling profile distinct from morphine and more similar to the endorphins. Screening of 96 sponge-derived extracts followed by LC-MS-based purification to pinpoint the active compounds and subsequent evaluation of a mini library of related alkaloids identified two structural classes that modulate the ORs. These included the following: aaptamine (10), 9-demethyl aaptamine (11), demethyl (oxy)-aaptamine (12) with activity at the δ-OR (EC
Copyright © 2016 American Chemical Society
This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of a Published Work that appeared in final form in ACS Chemical Neuroscience, copyright © American Chemical Society after peer review and technical editing by the publisher.