Synthesis and in vitro and in vivo activity of analogs of growth hormone‐releasing hormone (GH‐RH) with C‐terminal agmatine


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In the search for more active analogs of human growth hormone-releasing hormone (GH-RH), 37 new compounds were synthesized by solid phase methodology, purified, and tested biologically. Most of the analogs contained a sequence of 27 amino acids and N-terminal desaminotyrosine (Dat) and C-terminal agmatine (Agm), which are not amino acids. In addition to Dat in position 1 and Agm in position 29, the majority of the analogs had Ala15 and Nle27 substitutions and one or more additional L- or D-amino acid modifications. [Dat1, Ala15, Nle27]GH-RH(1-28)Agm (MZ-2-51) was the most active analog. Its in vitro GH-releasing potency was 10.5 times higher than that of GH-RH(1-29)NH2 and in the i.v. in vivo assay, MZ-2-51 was 4-5 times more active than the standard. After s.c. administration to rats, MZ-2-51 showed an activity 34 times higher at 15 min and 179 times greater at 30 min than GH-RH(1-29)NH2 and also displayed a prolonged activity. D-Tyr10, D-Lys12, and D-Lys21 homologs of MZ-2-51 also showed enhanced activities. Thus, [Dat1, D-Tyr10, Ala15, Nle27]GH-RH(1-28)Agm (MZ-2-159), [Dat1, D-Lys12, Ala15, Nle27]GH-RH(1-28)AGM (MZ-2-57), and [Dat1, Ala15, D-Lys21, Nle27]GH-RH(1-28)Agm (MZ-2-75) were 4-6 times more active in vitro than GH-RH(1-29)NH2. In vivo, after i.v. administration, analog MZ-2-75 was equipotent and analogs MZ-2-159 and MZ-2-57 about twice as potent as the standard. After s.c. administration, the potencies of MZ-2-57 and MZ-2-75 were 10-14 times higher than the standard at 15 min and 45-89 times greater when determined at 30 min. Most of the analogs containing two or more D-amino acid substitutions were less active than GH-RH(1-29)NH2 or inactive. Our studies indicate that very potent GH-RH analogs can result from the combination of agmatine in position 29 with other substitutions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)499-505
Number of pages7
JournalInternational journal of peptide and protein research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • GH-RH analogs
  • human growth hormone-releasing hormone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


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