The tripeptide glycine-proline-glutamate (GPE) is the naturally cleaved N-terminal tripeptide of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) in brain tissues by an acid protease. Although GPE does not bind to IGF-1 receptors and its mode of action is not clear, in vitro studies have demonstrated its ability to stimulate acetylcholine and dopamine release, as well as to protect neurones from diverse induced brain injures. More importantly, GPE has been shown to have potent neuroprotective effects in numerous animal models of hypoxic-ischemic brain injury and neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinsons, Alzheimers and Huntingtons diseases. As a consequence, GPE was suggested to be a potential target for the rational design of neuroprotective agents. Unfortunately, the use of GPE as a therapeutic agent is limited because of its unfavorable biochemical and pharmacokinetic properties. This review will focus on structural modifications performed on the GPE molecule in order to obtain bioactive analogues with increased pharmacokinetic profile useful for the treatment of central nervous system (CNS) injures and neurodegenerative disorders.
Keywords: Glycine-proline-glutamate, GPE analogues, macrocyclic GPE analogues, structure-activity relationships, neuroprotective agents, neurodegenerative disease, hypoxic-ischemic brain injury, Huntington's diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, Ligand-receptor interactions, amino-terminal glycine, carboxy-teminal glutamate, postoperative period, proline-analogues
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