1-Substituted sialorphin analogues-synthesis, molecular modelling and in vitro effect on enkephalins degradation by NEP.


Laboratory of Chemistry of Biological Macromolecules, Department of Molecular Biotechnology, Faculty of Chemistry, University of Gdansk, Wita Stwosza 63, 80-308, Gdansk, Poland. [Email]


Rat sialorphin (Gln-His-Asn-Pro-Arg) is a natural blocker of neprilysin (NEP) that belongs to the family of endogenous opioid peptide-degrading enzymes. Studies have confirmed the efficiency of sialorphin in blocking the activity of NEP, both in vitro and in vivo. It has been demonstrated that this inhibitor has a strong analgesic, anti-inflammatory, immunological and metabolic effect either directly or indirectly by affecting the level of Met/Leu-enkephalins. In this work, sialorphin and their 12 analogues were synthesised using the solid-phase method. The effect of the peptides on the degradation of Met-enkephalin by NEP and metabolic degradation in human plasma was investigated in vitro. We show that the change in the N-terminal amino acid configuration from L to D in almost all peptides, except D-Arg-His-Asn-Pro-Arg (peptide XI), led to the abolition of their inhibitory activity. With molecular modelling technique we explained the structural properties of the L and D-arginine located on the N-terminal part of the peptide. The detailed analysis of the protein binding pocket allowed us to explain why D-arginine is so unique among all D residues. Peptide XI showed the highest stability among the tested peptides in human plasma. For instance sialorphin after a 2-hour incubation in human plasma was almost completely decomposed, while the level of peptide XI dropped to 45% after 48 h under these conditions.


Enkephalins,Molecular modelling,Neutral endopeptidase,Peptides synthesis,Sialorphin,Structure–activity relationships,

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