Synthesis, conformational analysis and CB1 binding affinity of hairpin-like anandamide pseudopeptide mimetics.

Research paper by Maria M Di Marzo, Agostino A Casapullo, Giuseppe G Bifulco, Paola P Cimino, Alessia A Ligresti, Vincenzo V Di Marzo, Raffaele R Riccio, Luigi L Gomez-Paloma

Indexed on: 15 Mar '06Published on: 15 Mar '06Published in: Journal of Peptide Science


We have designed, synthesized and evaluated the CB(1) binding affinity of a number of new conformationally restricted lipopeptides (1-17). All of them present some of the AEA key structural elements incorporated in a hairpinlike peptide framework. Among them, compounds 1-3 and 8 showed CB(1) affinities in competitive binding assays with K(i) values in the micromolar range (K(i) of AEA = 0.8 microM in the same assay). The remaining pseudopeptides showed little binding to the CB(1) receptor (with K(i) values >or= 50 microM). Conformational analysis on two representative compounds, performed by a combination of NMR studies, restrained molecular dynamics and QM calculations, allowed us to shed light on the structure-activity relationships (SAR), pointing to a correlation between the predominance of the hairpin-like structural motif and the CB(1) binding affinity. In a more general context, the present study may also prove useful in gaining additional insight into the biological relevance of the various AEA conformations.