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J Med Chem. 2001 Jul 5;44(14):2298-303.

Enantioselective syntheses of potent retinoid X receptor ligands: differential biological activities of individual antipodes.

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Retinoid Research, Departments of Chemistry and Biology, Allergan Inc., 2525 Dupont Drive, Irvine, California 92623, USA.


The synthesis and characterization of chiral RXR selective ligands are described. The enantiomeric acids 2 and 3 were synthesized employing an enantioselective cylopropanation procedure as the key step. Compound 2, with an S,S configuration at C-9 and C-10, is a potent RXR agonist devoid of any RAR activity. The R,R enantiomer 3 is a weak RXR agonist and has demonstrable RAR activity in the receptor transactivation assays. The potent RXR activity of 2 was further confirmed in a hyperglycemic animal model (db/db mice). Compound 2 lowered glucose by 50% by day 7 at 2 mg/kg, whereas 3 had no effect at the same dosage. This further supports the contention that RXR mediated gene transcription is involved in the antidiabetic effects of RXR ligands.

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