Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Medicinal Chemistry

First Advisor

Yan Zhang


There are currently many opioid agonists available for clinical use as analgesics. However, many of these opioid agonists have notorious side effects including respiratory depression and may lead to addiction and dependence. Problems associated with these opioid agonists are determined to come from their interactions with the mu-opioid receptor. Opioid antagonists, such as naltrexone, have shown to aid in the treatment of opioid addiction. Although naltrexone has high affinity to the mu-opioid receptor, it lacks selectivity. Novel selective mu-opioid receptor antagonists were designed based on the identification of important pharmacophore elements in several known mu-opioid receptor agonists and antagonists. These compounds were synthesized and in vitro biological assays were conducted to determine their affinity to all three opioid receptors. Also, molecular modeling studines were conducted to help visualize the interactions between the mu-opioid receptor and these ligands. Finally, four lead compounds have been identified for further optimization.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

November 2008