Category: Amino acid/peptide conjugates

The conjugation of different amino acids/peptides to various biologically active compounds has fetched the outstanding results as are very promising drug candidates.

Synthesis of amino acid conjugates of tetrahydrocurcumin

Tetrahydrocurcumin (THC), the hydrogenated and stable form of curcumin, exhibits physiological and pharmacological activities similar to curcumin. A protocol has been developed for the synthesis of novel conjugates of THC with alanine (2a), isoleucine (2b), proline (2c), valine (2d), phenylalanine (2e), glycine (2f) and leucine (2g) in high yields (43–82%). All the derivatives of THC exhibited more potent anti-microbial activity than THC against Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and Yersinia enterocolitica. The MIC values of the derivatives were 24–37% of those for THC in case of both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Derivatives 2g and 2d exhibited maximum anti-mutagenicity against Salmonella typhimurium TA 98 and TA 1538, respectively at a low concentration of 313 μg/plate, with comparable activity for THC evident only at 3750 μg/plate. These results clearly demonstrated that the conjugation of THC at the phenolic position with amino acids led to significant improvement of its in vitro biological attributes.(Food Chem. 2013 Aug 15;139(1-4):332-8.)

New natural amino acid-bearing pro-drugs

The biomedical effects of the natural phenol pterostilbene are of great interest but its bioavailability is negatively affected by the phenolic group in position 4′ which is an ideal target for the conjugative enzymes of phase II metabolism. We report the synthesis and characterization of prodrugs in which the hydroxyl moiety is reversibly protected as a carbamate ester linked to the N-terminus of a natural amino acid. Prodrugs comprising amino acids with hydrophobic side chains were readily absorbed after intragastric administration to rats. The Area Under the Curve for pterostilbene in blood was optimal when prodrugs with isoleucine or β-alanine were used. The prodrug incorporating isoleucine was used for further studies to map distribution into major organs. When compared to pterostilbene itself, administration of the isoleucine prodrug afforded increased absorption, reduced metabolism and higher concentrations of pterostilbene, sustained for several hours, in most of the organs examined. Experiments using Caco-2 cells as an in vitro model for human intestinal absorption suggest that the prodrug could have promising absorption profiles also in humans; its uptake is partly due to passive diffusion, and partly mediated by H+-dependent transporters expressed on the apical membrane of enterocytes, such as PepT1 and OATP.