Long-lasting oral analgesic effects of N-protected aminophosphinic dual ENKephalinase inhibitors (DENKIs) in peripherally controlled pain

The peripheral endogenous opioid system is critically involved in neuropathic and inflammatory pain generation as suggested by the modulation of opioid receptors expression and enkephalins (ENKs) release observed in these painful conditions. Accordingly, an innovative approach in the treatment of these nocifensive events is to increase and maintain high local concentrations of extracellular pain-evoked ENKs, by preventing their physiological enzymatic inactivation by two Zn metallopeptidases, the neutral endopeptidase (NEP, neprilysin, EC 3.4.24.11) and the neutral aminopeptidase (APN,  EC 3.4.11.2). With this aim, new orally active dual ENKephalinase inhibitors (DENKIs) were designed as soluble prodrugs by introducing a N-terminal cleavable carbamate in the previously described aminophosphinic inhibitors.

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