Probing the V1a vasopressin receptor binding site with pyroglutamate-substituted linear antagonists

J. Howl, N. J. Yarwood, D. Stock, M. Wheatley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Summary We have synthesized eight analogues of the linear vasopressin antagonist DTyr(Et)2-Phe3-Gln4-Asn5-Arg 6-Pro7-Arg8-Tyr(NH2)9 substituted with L-, or D-, pyroglutamate at position-1, Asn or Val at position-4 and Arg or Met at position 6. All of these peptides bound to the V1a vasopressin receptor with affinities ranging 33.6-5, 470 nM. Of this series, only two peptides, [LpGlu1Val4Arg6Tyr(NH2) 9]AVP Kd = 48.4 nM and [DpGlu1Val4Arg6Tyr(NH2) 9]AVP Kd = 691 nM, bound to the V2 vasopressin receptor. All of the neurohypophysial hormone receptors studied (V1a VPR, V2 VPR and OTR) were found to be stereoselective with respect to the N-terminal pGlu residue. The effect on binding characteristics of L-pGlu1 and D-pGlu1 analogues was dependent on both the sequence of the peptide and on the receptor subtype in question. From these data we found that peptide 5, which has the structure DpGlu-DTyr(Et)-Phe-Val-Asn-Arg-Pro-Arg-Tyr(NH2), exhibited the highest V1a/OTR selectivity reported to date (V1aVPR Kd = 82 nM; OTR no binding at 10 μM). As such, peptide 5 will provide useful leads to the development of ligands with enhanced V1a/OTR selectivity. The binding affinity and hydrophobicity of pyroglutamate-substituted peptides was compared with previously characterized V1a receptor antagonists which contained a range of position-1 substitutions. The hydrophobicity of both cyclic and linear antagonists was markedly increased relative to the agonists AVP and [Phe2Om8]VT but increased hydrophobicity alone did not exclusively lead to high affinity antagonists. Data presented support the contention that in addition to a general increase in hydrophobicity/lipophilicity, position-1 influences the pharmacophore of vasopressin antagonists by providing molecular determinants for ligand/receptor interaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-79
Number of pages7
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Neurology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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