Discovery of a β-Hairpin Octapeptide, c[Pro-Arg-Phe-Phe-Dap-Ala-Phe-DPro], Mimetic of Agouti-Related Protein(87-132) [AGRP(87-132)] with Equipotent Mouse Melanocortin-4 Receptor (mMC4R) Antagonist Pharmacology

Mark D. Ericson, Andrzej Wilczynski, Nicholas B. Sorensen, Zhimin Xiang, Carrie Haskell-Luevano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

Agouti-related protein (AGRP) is a potent orexigenic peptide that antagonizes the melanocortin-3 and -4 receptors (MC3R and MC4R). While the C-terminal domain of AGRP, AGRP(87-132), is equipotent to the full-length peptide, further truncation decreases potency at the MC3R and MC4R. Herein, we report AGRP-derived peptides designed to mimic the active β-hairpin secondary structure that contains the hypothesized Arg-Phe-Phe pharmacophore. The most potent scaffold, c[Pro-Arg-Phe-Phe-Asn-Ala-Phe-DPro], comprised the hexa-peptide β-hairpin loop from AGRP cyclized through a DPro-Pro motif. A 20 compound library was synthesized from this scaffold for further structure-activity relationship studies. The most potent peptide from this library was an asparagine to diaminopropionic acid substitution that possessed sub-nanomolar antagonist activity at the mMC4R and was greater than 160-fold selective for the mMC4R versus the mMC3R. The reported ligands may serve as probes to characterize the melanocortin receptors in vivo and leads in the development of novel therapeutics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4638-4647
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of medicinal chemistry
Volume58
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 11 2015

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