Effects of macrocycle size and rigidity on melanocortin receptor-1 and -5 selectivity in cyclic lactam α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone analogs

Alexander V. Mayorov, So Yeop Han, Minying Cai, Matthew R. Hammer, Dev Trivedi, Victor J. Hruby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations


The effects of the linker arm rigidity and size on melanocortin receptor selectivity were explored in a series of compounds using cyclic lactam α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone template. A variety of dicarboxylic acid linkers introduced between the α-amino group of His6 and the ε-amino group of Lys10 lead to high-affinity, selective human melanocortin receptor-1 and -5 (hMC1R and hMC5R) antagonists. The incorporation of hydrophilic functions into the linker arm was found to be unfavorable for both binding potency and receptor selectivity. Analogs 8 and 9 containing highly conformationally constrained hydrophobic linkers (m- and p-phthalic acids) were found to be selective nanomolar range hMC1R antagonists (IC50 = 7 and 4 nm, respectively), whereas the employment of a small conformationally constrained linker (maleic acid) resulted in a high-affinity (IC50 = 19 nm) and selective hMC5R antagonist (analog 12). These newly developed melanotropins will serve as critical biochemical tools for elucidating the full spectrum of functions performed by the physiologically important melanocortin-1 and -5 receptors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)329-335
Number of pages7
JournalChemical Biology and Drug Design
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2006



  • α-Melanocyte-stimulating hormone
  • Antagonist
  • Human melanocortin-1 receptor
  • Human melanocortin-5 receptor
  • Macrocyclic
  • Melanocortin
  • Peptide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine

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