Topographical requirements for δ‐selective opioid peptides

Gregory V. Nikiforovich, Victor J. Hruby, Om Prakash, Catherine A. Gehrig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

115 Scopus citations


The conformational possibilities of three different δ‐selective opioid peptides, which are DPDPE (Formula Presented.) , and DRE (Tyr‐D‐Met‐Phe‐His‐Leu‐Met‐Asp‐NH2, dermenkephalin), were explored using energy calculations. Sets of low‐energy conformers were obtained for each of these peptides. The sets consisted of 61 structures for DPDPE, 32 for DCFPE, and 38 for DRE, including various types of rotamers of the Tyr and Phe side‐chain groups. Comparison of the geometrical shapes of the conformers was performed for these sets using topographical considerations, i.e., examination of the mutual spatial arrangement of the N‐terminal α‐amino group, and of the Tyr and Phe side‐chain groups. The results obtained suggest a model for the δ‐receptor‐bound conformer(s) for opioid peptides. The model suggests the placement of the Phe side chain in a definite position in space corresponding to the g rotamer of Phe for peptides containing Phe4 and to the t rotamer for peptides containing Phe.3 The position of the Tyr1 side chain cannot be specified so precisely. The proposed model is in a good agreement with the results of biological testing of β‐Me‐Phe4‐substituted DPDPE analogues that were not considered in the process of model construction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)941-955
Number of pages15
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jul 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomaterials
  • Organic Chemistry


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