An in Vitro and in Vivo Investigation of Bivalent Ligands That Display Preferential Binding and Functional Activity for Different Melanocortin Receptor Homodimers

Cody J. Lensing, Katie T. Freeman, Sathya M. Schnell, Danielle N. Adank, Robert C. Speth, Carrie Haskell-Luevano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Pharmacological probes for the melanocortin receptors have been utilized for studying various disease states including cancer, sexual function disorders, Alzheimer's disease, social disorders, cachexia, and obesity. This study focused on the design and synthesis of bivalent ligands to target melanocortin receptor homodimers. Lead ligands increased binding affinity by 14- to 25-fold and increased cAMP signaling potency by 3- to 5-fold compared to their monovalent counterparts. Unexpectedly, different bivalent ligands showed preferences for particular melanocortin receptor subtypes depending on the linker that connected the binding scaffolds, suggesting structural differences between the various dimer subtypes. Homobivalent compound 12 possessed a functional profile that was unique from its monovalent counterpart providing evidence of the discrete effects of bivalent ligands. Lead compound 7 significantly decreased feeding in mice after intracerebroventricular administration. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of a melanocortin bivalent ligand's in vivo physiological effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3112-3128
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of medicinal chemistry
Volume59
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 28 2016

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