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Current Medicinal Chemistry


ISSN (Print): 0929-8673
ISSN (Online): 1875-533X

Molecular Docking of Opiates and Opioid Peptides, a Tool for the Design of Selective Agonists and Antagonists, and for the Investigation of Atypical Ligand-Receptor Interactions

Author(s): L. Gentilucci, A. Tolomelli, R. De Marco and R. Artali

Volume 19, Issue 11, 2012

Page: [1587 - 1601] Pages: 15

DOI: 10.2174/092986712799945030

Price: $65


In the last years, molecular docking emerged as a powerful tool to investigate the interactions between opioid ligands and their receptors, thus driving the design and development of new selective agonists or antagonists of therapeutic interest. This review especially covers the most representative and recent comparative molecular docking analyses of structurally related compounds, as well as of agonists and antagonists within the active and inactive states of the receptors. The comparative analyses gave important information on the structural determinants responsible for the affinity and selectivity of the ligands, and defined the features responsible for the activation of the receptors. A special section is dedicated to the analyses of recently discovered, unusual agonists lacking of the tyramine pharmacophore, such as Salvinorin A, and the cyclopeptides which comprise the D-Trp-Phe pharmacophoric motif. For the atypical structure of these compounds, the docking proved to be essential to disclose how they interact with and activate the receptors.

Keywords: Opioid receptors, peptides, morphine, fentanyl, endomorphin, molecular docking, salvinorin, D-Trp-Phe, JOM, conformational analysis, ligand-receptor interactions, GPCR

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