Designing bifunctional NOP receptor-mu opioid receptor ligands from NOP receptor-selective scaffolds. Part I

Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2013 Jun 1;23(11):3308-13. doi: 10.1016/j.bmcl.2013.03.101. Epub 2013 Apr 4.


The nociceptin receptor (NOP) and its endogenous agonist, nociceptin/orphanin FQ (N/OFQ), members of the opioid receptor and peptide families respectively, modulate the pharmacological effects of classical opioids, particularly opioid-induced reward and nociception. We hypothesized that compounds containing both NOP and opioid receptor activity in a single molecule may have useful pharmacological profiles as non-addicting analgesics or as drug abuse medications. We report here our forays into the structure-activity relationships for discovering 'bifunctional' NOP-mu opioid receptor (MOP) ligands, starting from our NOP-selective scaffolds. This initial SAR suggests pharmacophoric elements that may be modified to modulate/increase opioid affinity, while maintaining high affinity for the NOP receptor, to result in potent bifunctional small-molecule NOP/MOP ligands.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Drug Design*
  • Piperidines / chemical synthesis
  • Piperidines / chemistry
  • Piperidines / metabolism
  • Protein Binding
  • Receptors, Opioid / agonists*
  • Receptors, Opioid / metabolism
  • Receptors, Opioid, mu / agonists*
  • Receptors, Opioid, mu / metabolism
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Piperidines
  • Receptors, Opioid
  • Receptors, Opioid, mu
  • piperidine
  • nociceptin receptor