Steric parameters, molecular modeling and hydropathic interaction analysis of the pharmacology of para-substituted methcathinone analogues.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:There is growing concern over the abuse of certain psychostimulant methcathinone (MCAT) analogues. This study extends an initial quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) investigation that demonstrated important steric considerations of seven 4- (or para-)substituted analogues of MCAT. Specifically, the steric character (Taft's steric ES ) of the 4-position substituent affected in vitro potency to induce monoamine release via dopamine and 5-HT transporters (DAT and SERT) and in vivo modulation of intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS). Here, we have assessed the effects of other steric properties of the 4-position substituents. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH:Definitive steric parameters that more explicitly focus on the volume, width and length of the MCAT 4-position substituents were assessed. In addition, homology models of human DAT and human SERT based upon the crystallized Drosophila?DAT were constructed and docking studies were performed, followed by hydropathic interaction (HINT) analysis of the docking results. KEY RESULTS:The potency of seven MCAT analogues at DAT was negatively correlated with the volume and maximal width of their 4-position substituents, whereas potency at SERT increased as substituent volume and length increased. SERT/DAT selectivity, as well as abuse-related drug effects in the ICSS procedure, also correlated with the same parameters. Docking solutions offered a means of visualizing these findings. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS:These results suggest that steric aspects of the 4-position substituents of MCAT analogues are key determinants of their action and selectivity, and that the hydrophobic nature of these substituents is involved in their potency at SERT.
Project description:2-[(Diphenylmethyl)sulfinyl]acetamide (modafinil, (±)-1) is a unique dopamine uptake inhibitor that binds the dopamine transporter (DAT) differently than cocaine and may have potential for the treatment of psychostimulant abuse. To further investigate structural requirements for this divergent binding mode, novel thio- and sulfinylacetamide and ethanamine analogues of (±)-1 were synthesized wherein (1) the diphenyl rings were substituted with methyl, trifluoromethyl, and halogen substituents and (2) substituents were added to the terminal amide/amine nitrogen. Halogen substitution of the diphenyl rings of (±)-1 gave several amide analogues with improved binding affinity for DAT and robust selectivity over the serotonin transporter (SERT), whereas affinity improved at SERT over DAT for the p-halo-substituted amine analogues. Molecular docking studies, using a subset of analogues with DAT and SERT homology models, and functional data obtained with DAT (A480T) and SERT (T497A) mutants defined a role for TM10 in the substrate/inhibitor S1 binding sites of DAT and SERT.
Project description:It is well known that 6-nitroquipazine exhibits about 150-fold higher affinity for the serotonin transporter (SERT) than quipazine and recently we showed quipazine buspirone analogues with high to moderate SERT affinity. Now we have designed and synthesized several 6-nitroquipazine buspirone derivatives. Unexpectedly, their SERT binding affinities were moderate, and much lower than that of the previously studied quipazine buspirone analogues. To explain these findings, docking studies of both groups of compounds into two different homology models of human SERT was performed using a flexible target-ligand docking approach (4D docking). The crystal structures of leucine transporter from Aquifex aeolicus in complex with leucine and with tryptophan were used as templates for the SERT models in closed and outward-facing conformations, respectively. We found that the latter conformation represents the most reliable model for binding of buspirone analogues. Docking into that model showed that the nitrated compounds acquire a rod like shape in the binding pocket with polar groups (nitro- and imido-) at the ends of the rod. 6-Nitro substituents gave steric clashes with amino acids located at the extracellular loop 4, which may explain their lower affinity than corresponding quipazine buspirone analogues. The results from the present study may suggest chemical design strategies to improve the SERT modulators.
Project description:Novel derivatives of 1-[2-[bis(4-fluorophenyl)methoxy]ethyl]-4-(3-phenylpropyl)piperazine (GBR 12909, 1) and 1-[2-(diphenylmethoxy)ethyl]-4-(3-phenylpropyl)piperazine (GBR 12935, 2) with various substituents in positions C2 and C3 of the phenylpropyl side chain were synthesized and evaluated for their ability to bind to the dopamine transporter (DAT) and the serotonin transporter (SERT). In the C2 series, the substituent in the S-configuration, with a lone-pair of electrons, significantly enhanced the affinity for DAT, whereas the steric effect of the substituent was detrimental to DAT binding affinity. In the C3 series, neither the lone electron pair nor the steric effect of the substituent seemed to affect DAT binding affinity, while sp (2) hybridized substituents had a detrimental effect on affinity for DAT. In the series, the 2-fluoro-substituted (S)-10 had the highest DAT binding affinity and good DAT selectivity, while the 2-amino-substituted (R)-8 showed essentially the same affinity for DAT and SERT. The oxygenated 16 and 18 possessed the best selectivity for DAT.
Project description:A series of lobelane and GZ-793A analogues that incorporate aromatic 4-hydroxy and 4-(2-fluoroethoxy) substituents were synthesized and evaluated for inhibition of [(3)H]dopamine (DA) uptake at the vesicular monoamine transporter-2 (VMAT2) and the dopamine transporter (DAT), and [(3)H]serotonin uptake at the serotonin transporter (SERT). Most of these compounds exhibited potent inhibition of DA uptake at VMAT2 in the nanomolar range (Ki=30-70nM). The two most potent analogues, 7 and 14, both exhibited a Ki value of 31nM for inhibition of VMAT2. The lobelane analogue 14, incorporating 4-(2-fluoroethoxy) and 4-hydroxy aromatic substituents, exhibited 96- and 335-fold greater selectivity for VMAT2 versus DAT and SERT, respectively, in comparison to lobelane. Thus, lobelane analogues bearing hydroxyl and fluoroethoxy moieties retain the high affinity for VMAT2 of the parent compound, while enhancing selectivity for VMAT2 versus the plasmalemma transporters.
Project description:Synthetic cathinones are common constituents of abused "bath salts" preparations and represent a large family of structurally related compounds that function as cocaine-like inhibitors or amphetamine-like substrates of dopamine (DAT), norepinephrine (NET), and serotonin (SERT) transporters. Preclinical evidence suggests that some cathinones (e.g., MDPV and α-PVP) are more effective reinforcers than prototypical stimulant drugs of abuse, such as cocaine or methamphetamine. Although the reinforcing potency of these cathinones is related to their potency to inhibit DAT, less is known about the pharmacological determinants of their unusually high reinforcing effectiveness. To this end, we tested the hypothesis that reinforcing effectiveness of cathinone stimulants is positively correlated with their selectivity for DAT relative to SERT. Uptake inhibition assays in rat brain synaptosomes were used to directly compare the potency of MDPV, MDPBP, MDPPP, α-PVP, α-PPP, and cocaine at DAT, NET, and SERT, whereas intravenous self-administration in rats was used to quantify relative reinforcing effectiveness of the drugs using progressive ratio (PR) and behavioral economic procedures. All cathinones were more potent at DAT than NET or SERT, with a rank order for selectivity at DAT over SERT of α-PVP > α-PPP > MDPV > MDPBP > MDPPP > cocaine. These synthetic cathinones were more effective reinforcers than cocaine, and the measures of reinforcing effectiveness determined by PR and demand curve analyses were highly correlated with selectivity for DAT over SERT. Together, these studies provide strong and convergent evidence that the abuse potential of stimulant drugs is mediated by uptake inhibition at DAT, with activity at SERT serving as a negative modulator of reinforcing effectiveness.
Project description:?-Pyrrolidinovalerophenone (?-PVP, 7) is an illegal synthetic stimulant that is being sold on the clandestine market as "flakka" and "gravel". The potent pharmacological effects of ?-PVP are presumably mediated by inhibition of dopamine uptake at the dopamine transporter (DAT). However, little is known about how structural modification of ?-PVP influences activity at DAT. Eleven analogs of ?-PVP were synthesized and examined for their ability to inhibit uptake of [(3)H]dopamine and [(3)H]serotonin in rat brain synaptosomes. None of the analogs significantly inhibited [(3)H]serotonin uptake when tested at 10 ?M at the serotonin transporter (SERT). All of the analogs behaved as DAT reuptake inhibitors, but potencies varied over a >1500-fold range. Potency was primarily associated with the nature of the ?-substituent, with the more bulky substituents imparting the highest potency. Expansion of the pyrrolidine ring to a piperidine reduced potency up to 10-fold, whereas conformational constraint in the form of an aminotetralone resulted in the least potent compound. Our study provides the first systematic and comparative structure-activity investigation on the ability of ?-PVP analogs to act as inhibitors of DAT.
Project description:To further explore the basic structural motifs (3S,6S)-6-benzhydryl-N-benzyltetrahydro-2H-pyran-3-amine and (2S,4R,5R)-2-benzhydryl-5-(benzylamino)tetrahydro-2H-pyran-4-ol, developed by our research group, for monoamine transport inhibition, we designed and synthesized various structurally altered analogues. The new compounds were tested for their affinities for the dopamine transporter (DAT), the serotonin transporter (SERT), and the norepinephrine transporter (NET) in rat brain by measuring their capacity to inhibit the uptake of [(3)H]DA, [(3)H]5-HT, and [(3)H]NE, respectively. Our results point to novel compounds with a TUI, DNRI, SNRI, or SSRI profile. Among the TUIs, compound 2 g exhibited a balanced potency for all three monoamine transporters (K(i): 60, 79, and 70.3 nM for DAT, SERT, and NET, respectively). In the rat forced swim test, compound 2 g produced a significant decrease in immobility in drug-treated rats relative to vehicle, indicating a potential antidepressant property.
Project description:(+/-)-Citalopram (1, 1-(3-(dimethylamino)propyl)-1-(4-fluorophenyl)-1,3-dihydroisobenzofuran-5-carbonitrile), and its eutomer, escitalopram (S-(+)-1) are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) that are used clinically to treat anxiety and depression. To further explore structure-activity relationships at the serotonin transporter (SERT), a series of (+/-)-4- and 5-substituted citalopram analogues were designed, synthesized, and evaluated for binding at the SERT, dopamine transporter (DAT) and norepinephrine transporter (NET) in native rodent tissue. Many of these analogues showed high SERT binding affinities (Ki=1-40 nM) and selectivities over both NET and DAT. Selected enantiomeric pairs of analogues were synthesized and both retained enantioselectivity as with S- and R-1, wherein S>R at the SERT. In addition, the enantiomeric pairs of 1 and 5 were tested for binding at the homologous bacterial leucine transporter (LeuT), wherein low affinities and the absence of enantioselectivity suggested distinctive binding sites for these compounds at SERT as compared to LeuT. These novel ligands will provide molecular tools to elucidate drug-protein interactions at the SERT and to relate those to behavioral actions in vivo.
Project description:A series of 2'-substituted analogues of the selective NMDA receptor ligand (2S,1'R,2'S)-2-(carboxycyclopropyl)glycine ((S)-CCG-IV) have been designed, synthesized, and pharmacologically characterized. The design was based on a docking study hypothesizing that substituents in the 2'-position would protrude into a region where differences among the NMDA receptor GluN2 subunits exist. Various synthetic routes were explored, and two different routes provided a series of alkyl-substituted analogues. Pharmacological characterization revealed that these compounds are NMDA receptor agonists and that potency decreases with increasing size of the alkyl groups. Variations in agonist activity are observed at the different recombinant NMDA receptor subtypes. This study demonstrates that it is possible to introduce substituents in the 2'-position of (S)-CCG-IV while maintaining agonist activity and that variation among NMDA receptor subtypes may be achieved by probing this region of the receptor.
Project description:Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), serotonin transporters (SERT) and dopamine transporters (DAT) represent targets for the development of novel nicotinic derivatives acting as multiligands associated with different health conditions, such as depressive, anxiety and addiction disorders. In the present work, a series of functionalized esters structurally related to acetylcholine and nicotine were synthesized and pharmacologically assayed with respect to these targets. The synthesized compounds were studied in radioligand binding assays at ?4?2 nAChR, h-SERT and h-DAT. SERT experiments showed not radioligand [3H]-paroxetine displacement, but rather an increase in the radioligand binding percentage at the central binding site was observed. Compound 20 showed Ki values of 1.008 ± 0.230 ?M for h-DAT and 0.031 ± 0.006 ?M for ?4?2 nAChR, and [3H]-paroxetine binding of 191.50% in h-SERT displacement studies, being the only compound displaying triple affinity. Compound 21 displayed Ki values of 0.113 ± 0.037 ?M for ?4?2 nAChR and 0.075 ± 0.009 ?M for h-DAT acting as a dual ligand. Molecular docking studies on homology models of ?4?2 nAChR, h-DAT and h-SERT suggested potential interactions among the compounds and agonist binding site at the ?4/?2 subunit interfaces of ?4?2 nAChR, central binding site of h-DAT and allosteric modulator effect in h-SERT.