News Release 

Opioid analgesics from fungus

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Researchers report 3 peptides isolated from a species of the fungus Penicillium found in an Australian estuary that contain naturally formed amino acids exhibiting mirror image structures rarely seen in amino acids in nature; based on the peptides' structures, the researchers developed bilorphin and bilactorphin, analgesics that act on opioid receptors but through a different signaling pathway than traditional opioid medications, suggesting that the analgesics might pave the way toward the development of drugs for effective pain management with few adverse side effects.

Article #19-08662: "A tetrapeptide class of biased analgesics from an Australian fungus targets the μ-opioid receptor," by Zoltan Dekan et al.

MEDIA CONTACT: MacDonald J. Christie, University of Sydney, AUSTRALIA; e-mail:


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