Effects of synthetic analogues of human opiorphin on rat brain opioid receptors

Z. Benyhe, G. Toth, M. Wollemann, A. Borsodi, Z. Helyes, C. Rougeot, Sandor Benyhe

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8 Citations (Scopus)


Human opiorphin (Gln-Arg-Phe-Ser-Arg; QRFSR-peptide) is a physiological inhibitor of enkephalin-inactivating peptidases. We previously demonstrated that opiorphin can substitute for the classic mixture of peptidase inhibitors and greatly improves the specific binding and affinity of the enkephalin-related peptide [3H]MERF (Tyr-Gly-Gly-Phe-Met-Arg- Phe; YGGFMRF) for rat brain opioid receptors. To extend the metabolic stability of opiorphin in human plasma two functional derivatives were designed, i.e., Cys-[(CH2)6]-QRF-[Ser-O-octanoyl]-R peptide (monomeric CC6-opiorphin) and its cystine-dipeptide (dimeric CC6-opiorphin) derivative. We found that, in homologous competition experiments, the affinity of [3H]MERF for rat brain opioid receptors was significantly increased in the presence of monomeric and dimeric CC6-opiorphin, compared to control-Tris buffer. In addition ten times lower concentrations (5 μM) than those required for native opiorphin (50 μM) were sufficient. In heterologous competition experiments, using unlabeled dynorphin(1-10), affinity increases were also observed: increases in binding were similar with either monomeric or dimeric CC6-opiorphin. Surprisingly, these opiorphin analogues displayed weak competitive effects on [3H]MERF binding to rat brain opioid receptors in the absence of unlabeled MERF, effects never observed for the native opiorphin. In conclusion, CC6-opiorphin compounds are certainly more potent than the native opiorphin in increasing the binding and the affinity of homologous and heterologous competition, but the binding enhancement occurs only at temperatures much higher than 0°C, specifically at 24°C.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)525-530
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Physiology and Pharmacology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014



  • Met-enkephalin-Arg-Phe
  • Opioid receptors
  • Peptidase inhibition
  • Radioligand binding
  • Rat brain membranes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pharmacology

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