In vitro binding and functional studies of Ac-RYYRIK-ol and its derivatives, novel partial agonists of the nociceptin/orphanin F/Q receptor

Özge Gündüz, Ferenc Sipos, Barbara Spagnolo, László Kocsis, Anna Magyar, György Orosz, Anna Borsodi, Girolamo Calò, Sándor Benyhe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)


Following the discovery of nociceptin/orphanin FQ (N/OFQ) peptide receptor (NOP) and its endogenous ligand, an extensive search has started to find selective agonists and antagonists targeting this novel receptor-ligand system due to their therapeutic potentials. By the help of the combinatorial chemistry a series of hexapeptides with a general formula of Ac-RYY-R/K-W/I-R/K-NH 2 having high NOP receptor affinity and selectivity were identified. On the basis of this information we developed a number of novel compounds. The detailed structure-activity studies on the partial agonist Ac-RYYRIK-NH 2 are reported in this communication. Besides the modifications on N- and C-terminal, Arg-Cit exchange was performed on the template structure. The novel hexapeptides were analyzed in radioligand binding, functional biochemical [35S]GTPγS binding assays by using membranes from rat brains and Chinese hamster ovary cells expressing human NOP receptor. The agonist/antagonist properties were also tested on in the mouse vas deferens bioassay. C-terminal modification yielded a high affinity, selective and potent NOP ligand (Ac-RYYRIK-ol) with a partial agonist property. Several analogs of this compound were synthesized. The presence of the positively charged arginine residue at the first position turned out to be crucial for the biological activity of the hexapeptide. The N-terminal modifications with various acyl groups (ClAc, pivaloyl, formyl, benzoyl, mesyl) decreased the affinity of the ligand towards the receptor and the intrinsic activity for stimulating the G-protein activation was also decreased. The structure-activity studies on the hexapeptide derivatives provided some basic information on the structural requirements for receptor binding and activation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-101
Number of pages11
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2006


  • Ac-RYYRIK-ol
  • Bioassay
  • Hexapeptides
  • NOP receptor
  • Nociceptin/orphanin FQ
  • Partial agonist
  • Radioligand binding
  • [S]GTPγS binding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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