Enantiomeric N-substituted N-normetazocines: a comparative study of affinities at sigma, PCP, and mu opioid receptors

J Med Chem. 1992 Jul 24;35(15):2812-8. doi: 10.1021/jm00093a014.


The optical antipodes of N-allyl-N-normetazocine (2; SKF 10047, NANM) were the original compounds used for the classification of the sigma receptor as distinct from other receptors such as the PCP (NMDA), opioid, and dopamine receptors. Later studies showed that (+)-N-(dimethylallyl)-N-normetazocine [(+)-4, (+)-pentazocine] was more potent and selective for the sigma receptor. In order to gain additional structure-activity relationship information, several N-substituted N-normetazocine analogs were prepared and evaluated for their sigma-1 ([3H]-(+)-3-PPP or [3H]-(+)-pentazocine), PCP ([3H]TCP), and mu opioid ([3H]DAMGO) receptor binding affinities. (+)-N-Benzyl-N-normetazocine [(+)-10)] possessed subnanomolar affinities for the sigma site, Ki = 0.67. The analog (+)-10 showed greater than 14,000- and 2400-fold selectivity, respectively, for the sigma receptor relative to the PCP and mu opioid receptors. The N-substituted N-normetazocines were enantioselective for the sigma site. The (+)-N-benzyl analog, (+)-10, showed a 55-fold selectivity relative to (-)-10. Analysis of the data also revealed that (+)-normetazocine [(+)-1] [Ki = 30 nM] possessed the highest affinity for the PCP receptor. However, (+)-metazocine [(+)-5] (Ki = 41 nM) was the most selective compound for the PCP receptor relative to the sigma (51-fold) and mu opioid (greater than 200-fold) sites.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Male
  • Narcotics / metabolism
  • Phenazocine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Phenazocine / metabolism
  • Phencyclidine / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Receptors, Neurotransmitter / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Opioid / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Opioid, mu
  • Receptors, Phencyclidine
  • Receptors, sigma
  • Stereoisomerism
  • Substrate Specificity


  • Narcotics
  • Receptors, Neurotransmitter
  • Receptors, Opioid
  • Receptors, Opioid, mu
  • Receptors, Phencyclidine
  • Receptors, sigma
  • SK&F 10047
  • Phenazocine
  • Phencyclidine