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Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2012 Nov 1;22(21):6656-60. doi: 10.1016/j.bmcl.2012.08.105. Epub 2012 Sep 7.

Discovery of 4-oxo-6-((pyrimidin-2-ylthio)methyl)-4H-pyran-3-yl 4-nitrobenzoate (ML221) as a functional antagonist of the apelin (APJ) receptor.

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  • 1Conrad Prebys Center for Chemical Genomics, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, 6400 Sanger Road, Orlando, FL 32827, USA.


The recently discovered apelin/APJ system has emerged as a critical mediator of cardiovascular homeostasis and is associated with the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease. A role for apelin/APJ in energy metabolism and gastrointestinal function has also recently emerged. We disclose the discovery and characterization of 4-oxo-6-((pyrimidin-2-ylthio)methyl)-4H-pyran-3-yl 4-nitrobenzoate (ML221), a potent APJ functional antagonist in cell-based assays that is >37-fold selective over the closely related angiotensin II type 1 (AT1) receptor. ML221 was derived from an HTS of the ~330,600 compound MLSMR collection. This antagonist showed no significant binding activity against 29 other GPCRs, except to the κ-opioid and benzodiazepinone receptors (<50/<70%I at 10 μM). The synthetic methodology, development of structure-activity relationship (SAR), and initial in vitro pharmacologic characterization are also presented.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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