1. Bis-penicillamine enkephalins possess highly improved specificity toward delta opioid receptors
H I Mosberg, R Hurst, V J Hruby, K Gee, H I Yamamura, J J Galligan, T F Burks Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1983 Oct;80(19):5871-4. doi: 10.1073/pnas.80.19.5871.
The conformationally restricted, cyclic, disulfide-containing, enkephalin analogs [2-D-penicillamine, 5-L-penicillamine]enkephalin [(D-Pen2,L-Pen5]enkephalin) and [2-D-penicillamine, 5-D-penicillamine]enkephalin [(D-Pen2,D-Pen5]enkephalin) were synthesized by solid-phase methods. Selectivities of these analogs for a single class of opioid receptor were investigated by examining relative potencies in the mouse vas deferens assay, in which the functional receptor is the delta receptor, versus the guinea pig ileum assay, in which the mu receptor is the functional receptor, and by determining their relative abilities to displace the prototypical delta receptor ligand [D-Ala2, D-Leu5]enkephalin and the prototypical mu receptor ligand naloxone from rat brain membrane preparations. Based on these comparisons [D-Pen2,L-Pen5]- and [D-Pen2,D-Pen5]enkephalin exhibited delta receptor selectivities of 1,088 and 3,164, respectively, in the bioassays, and 371 and 175, respectively, in the binding assays. Compared with the previously reported delta receptor selective analogs, [D-Ala2,D-Leu5]enkephalin, [D-Ser2,Leu5,Thr6]enkephalin, and [D-Thr2,Leu5,Thr6]enkephalin, the bis-Pen-containing analogs provide an order of magnitude increase in delta receptor selectivity.
2. Disulfide reduction and sulfhydryl uptake by Streptococcus mutans
E L Thomas J Bacteriol. 1984 Jan;157(1):240-6. doi: 10.1128/jb.157.1.240-246.1984.
Incubation of Streptococcus mutans cells with certain disulfide compounds resulted in accumulation of reduced sulfhydryl compounds in the extracellular medium or in both the medium and the cells. Oxidized lipoic acid and lipoamide competed for reduction. At high concentrations, these compounds were reduced at rates comparable to that of glucose metabolism, and all of the increase in sulfhydryls was in the medium. Cystamine did not compete with these compounds for reduction but was also reduced at high rates and low apparent affinity, and all of the cysteamine produced from cystamine accumulated in the medium. In contrast, glutathione disulfide (GSSG) and L-cystine were reduced slowly but with high apparent affinity, and 60 to 80% of the increase in sulfhydryls was intracellular. NADH-dependent lipoic acid or lipoamide reductase activity was present in the particulate (wall-plus-membrane) fraction, whereas NADPH-dependent GSSG reductase activity was present in the soluble (cytoplasmic) fraction. Two transport systems for disulfide and sulfhydryl compounds were distinguished. GSSG, L-cystine, and reduced glutathione competed for uptake. L-Cysteine was taken up by a separate system that also accepted L-penicillamine and D-cysteine as substrates. Uptake of glutathione or L-cysteine, or the uptake and reduction of GSSG or L-cystine, resulted in up to a 10-fold increase in cell sulfhydryl content that raised intracellular concentrations to between 30 and 40 mM. These reductase and transport systems enable S. mutans cells to create a reducing environment in both the extracellular medium and the cytoplasm.
3. Novel cyclic biphalin analogue with improved antinociceptive properties
Adriano Mollica, et al. ACS Med Chem Lett. 2014 Jul 14;5(9):1032-6. doi: 10.1021/ml500241n. eCollection 2014 Sep 11.
Two novel opioid analogues have been designed by substituting the native d-Ala residues in position 2,2' of biphalin with two residues of d-penicillamine or l-penicillamine and by forming a disulfide bond between the thiol groups. The so-obtained compound 9 containing d-penicillamines showed excellent μ/δ mixed receptor affinities (K i (δ) = 5.2 nM; K i (μ) = 1.9 nM), together with an efficacious capacity to trigger the second messenger and a very good in vivo antinociceptive activity, whereas product 10 was scarcely active. An explanation of the two different pharmacological behaviors of products 9 and 10 was found by studying their conformational properties.