Combinatorial assembly of small molecules into bivalent antagonists of TrkC or TrkA receptors. Academic Article uri icon


  • A library of peptidomimetics was assembled combinatorially into dimers on a triazine-based core. The pharmacophore corresponds to -turns of the neurotrophin polypeptides neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), nerve growth factor (NGF), or brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). These are the natural ligands for TrkC, TrkA, and TrkB receptors, respectively. The linker length and the side-chain orientation of each monomer within the bivalent mimics were systematically altered, and the impact of these changes on the function of each ligand was evaluated. While the monovalent peptidomimetics had no detectable binding or bioactivity, four bivalent peptidomimetics (2c, 2d, 2e, 3f) are selective TrkC ligands with antagonistic activity, and two bivalent peptidomimetics (1a, 1b) are TrkC and TrkA ligands with antagonistic activity. All these bivalent compounds block ligand-dependent receptor activation and cell survival, without affecting neuritogenic differentiation. This work adds to our understanding of how the neurotrophins function through Trk receptors, and demonstrates that peptidomimetics can be designed to selectively disturb specific biological signals, and may be used as pharmacological probes or as therapeutic leads. The concept of altering side-chain, linker length, and sequence orientation of a subunit within a pharmacophore provides an easy modular approach to generate larger libraries with diversified bioactivity.

published proceedings

  • PLoS One

altmetric score

  • 6

author list (cited authors)

  • Brahimi, F., Ko, E., Malakhov, A., Burgess, K., & Saragovi, H. U.

citation count

  • 11

complete list of authors

  • Brahimi, Fouad||Ko, Eunhwa||Malakhov, Andrey||Burgess, Kevin||Saragovi, H Uri

editor list (cited editors)

  • Costa-Neto, C. M.

publication date

  • March 2014