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J Med Chem. 2000 Jun 1;43(11):2196-203.

Methanocarba analogues of purine nucleosides as potent and selective adenosine receptor agonists.

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Molecular Recognition Section, Laboratory of Bioorganic Chemistry, National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-0810, USA.


Adenosine receptor agonists have cardioprotective, cerebroprotective, and antiinflammatory properties. We report that a carbocyclic modification of the ribose moiety incorporating ring constraints is a general approach for the design of A(1) and A(3) receptor agonists having favorable pharmacodynamic properties. While simple carbocyclic substitution of adenosine agonists greatly diminishes potency, methanocarba-adenosine analogues have now defined the role of sugar puckering in stabilizing the active adenosine receptor-bound conformation and thereby have allowed identification of a favored isomer. In such analogues a fused cyclopropane moiety constrains the pseudosugar ring of the nucleoside to either a Northern (N) or Southern (S) conformation, as defined in the pseudorotational cycle. In binding assays at A(1), A(2A), and A(3) receptors, (N)-methanocarba-adenosine was of higher affinity than the (S)-analogue, particularly at the human A(3) receptor (N/S affinity ratio of 150). (N)-Methanocarba analogues of various N(6)-substituted adenosine derivatives, including cyclopentyl and 3-iodobenzyl, in which the parent compounds are potent agonists at either A(1) or A(3) receptors, respectively, were synthesized. The N(6)-cyclopentyl derivatives were A(1) receptor-selective and maintained high efficacy at recombinant human but not rat brain A(1) receptors, as indicated by stimulation of binding of [(35)S]GTP-gamma-S. The (N)-methanocarba-N(6)-(3-iodobenzyl)adenosine and its 2-chloro derivative had K(i) values of 4.1 and 2.2 nM at A(3) receptors, respectively, and were highly selective partial agonists. Partial agonism combined with high functional potency at A(3) receptors (EC(50) < 1 nM) may produce tissue selectivity. In conclusion, as for P2Y(1) receptors, at least three adenosine receptors favor the ribose (N)-conformation.

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