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J Med Chem. 2003 Jul 3;46(14):2877-94.

New pyrimido[5,4-b]indoles as ligands for alpha(1)-adrenoceptor subtypes.

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Dipartimento di Scienze Farmaceutiche, Università di Catania, Viale A Doria 6, 95125 Catania, Italy.


A new series of compounds were designed as structural analogues of the alpha(1)-AR ligand RN5 (4), characterized by a tricyclic 5H-pyrimido[5,4-b]indole-(1H,3H)2,4-dione system connected through an alkyl chain to a phenylpiperazine (PP) moiety. These compounds were synthesized and tested in binding assays on human alpha(1A)-AR, alpha(1B)-AR, and alpha(1D)-AR subtypes expressed in HEK293 cells. Several structural modifications were performed on the PP moiety, the tricyclic system, and the connecting alkyl chain. Many of the new molecules showed a preferential affinity for the alpha(1D)-AR subtype. Some compounds, including 39 and 40, displayed substantial alpha(1D)-AR selectivity with respect to alpha(1A)-AR, alpha(1B)-AR, serotonergic 5-HT(1A), 5-HT(1B), 5-HT(2A), and dopaminergic D(1) and D(2) receptors. Two conformationally rigid analogues of 4, useful for studying the architecture of the receptor/ligand complex, were also prepared and tested. A subset of the new compounds was then used to evolve a preliminary pharmacophore model for alpha(1D)-AR antagonists, based on a more generalized model we had developed for alpha(1)-AR antagonists. This new model rationalized the relationships between structural properties and biological data of the pyrimido[5,4-b]indole compounds, as well as other compounds.

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