Highly potent nociceptin analog containing the Arg-Lys triple repeat

Kazushi Okada, Tetsujo Sujaku, Yoshiro Chuman, Rie Nakashima, Takeru Nose, Tommaso Costa, Yoshinari Yamada, Masayuki Yokoyama, Atsushi Nagahisa, Yasuyuki Shimohigashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Citations (Scopus)


One of the structural characteristics of a neuropeptide nociceptin is the existence of Arg-Lys (RK) residues at positions 8-9 and 12-13; both RKs have been suggested to bind to the acidic amino acid cluster in the second extracellular loop of the seven transmembrane domain receptor ORL1. With a design strategy of attempting to obtain an analog that binds more strongly to the receptor's acidic cluster, we synthesized a series of nociceptin analogs in which the RK dipeptide unit was placed at positions 6-7, 10-11, or 14-15 adjacent to the parent RKs. Among these nociceptin analogs containing the RK triple repeat, [ArgLys6-7]- and [Arg-Lys10-11]nociceptins exhibited weak activities (6-9 and 60-90% of nociceptin, respectively) both in the receptor binding assay and in the [35S]GTPγS binding functional assay. In contrast, [Arg-Lys14-15]nociceptin was found to be very potent in both assays (3-fold in binding and 17-fold in GTPγS functional assay). [Arg-Lys14-15]nociceptin was the first peptide analog found to be stronger than the parent nociceptin, and structure-activity studies have suggested that the incorporated Arg-Lys14-15 interacts with either the receptor acidic amino acid cluster or the receptor aromatic amino acid residues. (C) 2000 Academic Press.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)493-498
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 19 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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