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NOpiates: Novel Dual Action Neuronal Nitric Oxide Synthase Inhibitors with μ-Opioid Agonist Activity

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journal contribution
posted on 2012-03-08, 00:00 authored by Paul Renton, Brenda Green, Shawn Maddaford, Suman Rakhit, John S. Andrews
A novel series of benzimidazole designed multiple ligands (DMLs) with activity at the neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) enzyme and the μ-opioid receptor was developed. Targeting of the structurally dissimilar heme-containing enzyme and the μ-opioid GPCR was predicated on the modulatory role of nitric oxide on μ-opioid receptor function. Structure–activity relationship studies yielded lead compound 24 with excellent nNOS inhibitory activity (IC50 = 0.44 μM), selectivity over both endothelial nitric oxide synthase (10-fold) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (125-fold), and potent μ-opioid binding affinity, Ki = 5.4 nM. The functional activity as measured in the cyclic adenosine monosphospate secondary messenger assay resulted in full agonist activity (EC50 = 0.34 μM). This work represents a novel approach in the development of new analgesics for the treatment of pain.

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