Journal of peptide science : an official publication of the European Peptide Society

An investigation of position 3 in arginine vasopressin with aliphatic, aromatic, conformationally-restricted, polar and charged amino acids.

PMID 10323558


We report the solid-phase synthesis and some pharmacological properties of 23 new analogs of arginine vasopressin (AVP) which have the Phe3 residue replaced by a broad variety of amino acids. Peptides 1-9 have at position 3: (1) the mixed aromatic/aliphatic amino acid thienylalanine (Thi) and the aliphatic amino acids; (2) cyclohexylalanine (Cha); (3) norleucine (Nle); (4) Leu; (5) norvaline (Nva); (6) Val; (7) alpha-aminobutyric acid (Abu); (8) Ala; (9) Gly. Peptides 10-23 have at position 3: the aromatic amino acids, (10) homophenylalanine (Hphe): (11) Tyr; (12) Trp; (13) 2-naphthylalanine (2-Nal); the conformationally-restricted amino acids (14) Pro; (15) 2-aminotetraline-2-carboxylic acid (Atc); the polar amino acids (16) Ser; (17) Thr; (18) Gln; and the charged amino acids (19) Asp; (20) Glu; (21) Arg; (22) Lys; (23) Orn. All 23 new peptides were evaluated for agonistic and, where appropriate, antagonistic activities in in vivo antidiuretic (V2-receptor) and vasopressor (V1a-receptor) assays and in in vitro (no Mg2+) oxytocic assays. The corresponding potencies (units/mg) in these assays for AVP are: 323+/-16; 369+/-6 and 13.9+/-0.5. Peptides 1-9 exhibit the following potencies (units/mg) in these three assays: (1) 379+/-14; 360+/-9; 36.2+/-1.9; (2) 294+/-21: 73.4+/-2.7; 0.33+/-0.02; (3) 249+/-28; 84.6+/-4.3; 4.72+/-0.16; (4) 229+19; 21.4+/-0.6; 2.1+/-0.2; (5) 134+/-5; 31.2+/-0.9; 28.4+/-0.2; (6) 114+/-9; 45.3+2.3; 11.3+/-1.6; (7) 86.7+/-2.5; 4.29+/-0.13; 0.45+/-0.03; (8) 15.5+/-1.5; 0.16+/-0.01; approximately 0.02: (9) 3.76+/-0.03; < 0.02; in vitro oxytocic agonism was not detected. These data show that the aliphatic amino acids Cha, Nle, Leu, Nva and Val are well-tolerated at position 3 in AVP with retention of surprisingly high levels of antidiuretic activity. Peptides 2-9 exhibit significant gains in both antidiuretic/vasopressor (A/P) and antidiuretic/oxytocic (A/O) selectivities relative to AVP. [Thi3]AVP appears to be a more potent antidiuretic and oxytocic agonist than AVP and is equipotent with AVP as a vasopressor agonist. The antidiuretic potencies of peptides 10-23 exhibit drastic losses relative to AVP. They range from a low of 0.018+/-0.001 units/mg for the Lys3 analog (peptide 22) to a high of 24.6+/-4.6 units,mg for the Hphe3 analog (peptide 10). Their vasopressor potencies are also drastically reduced. These range from a low of < 0.002 units/mg for peptide 22 to a high of 8.99+0.44 units/mg for the Atc3 analog (peptide 15). Peptides 10-23 exhibit negligible or undetectable in vitro oxytocic agonism. The findings on peptides 10-23 show that position 3 in AVP is highly intolerant of changes with aromatic, conformationally-restricted, polar and charged amino acids. Furthermore, these findings are in striking contrast to our recent discovery that position 3 in the potent V2/V1a/OT antagonist d(CH2)5D-Tyr(Et)2VAVP tolerates a broad latitude of structural change at position 3 with many of the same amino acids, to give excellent retention of antagonistic potencies. The data on peptides 1-4 offer promising clues to the design of more potent and selective AVP V2 agonists.

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