Recently we have demonstrated that replacing His(6) by constrained amino acids(2) in the well-known antagonist SHU-9119 resulted in potent and selective antagonist ligands especially at the hMC3R and hMC5 receptors. With the aim to further explore position 6 in the sequence of SHU-9119 and MT-II, we have designed, synthesized, and pharmacologically characterized a series of peptide analogues of MT-II and SHU-9119 at the human melanocortin receptors subtypes MC3R, MC4R and MC5R. All these peptides were modified at position 6 with constrained amino acids which are commercially available. In this study, we have identified new selective ligands for the hMC4R, and an antagonist for the hMC3/hMC4 receptors. Additionally, we have discovered an interesting new selective antagonist at the hMC3R, Ac-Nle-c[Asp-beta Ala-DNal(2')-Arg-Trp-Lys]-NH2 (2, PG-106) which represents an important tool in further biological investigations of the hMC3R. PG-106 will be useful in further efforts to differentiate the substructural features responsible for selectivity at the hMC3R, hMC4R, and hMC5R
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