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J Med Chem. 2004 Oct 21;47(22):5515-34.

Synthesis of analogues of Congo red and evaluation of their anti-prion activity.

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Welsh School of Pharmacy, Cardiff University, King Edward VII Avenue, Cardiff CF10 3XF, UK.


No cure as of yet exists for any of the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. In this paper, we describe the synthesis of analogues of Congo red and evaluation against a cellular model of infection, the SMB (scrapie mouse brain) persistently infected cell line, for their ability to inhibit the infectivity of the abnormal form of prion protein (PrP-res). The compounds have also been tested for their ability to inhibit the polymerization of PrPC by PrP-res. A number of analogues showed inhibition of PrP-res infectivity at nanomolar concentrations. Several analogues show promise; the most active compound, 2a, inhibits the formation of PrP-res in SMB cells with an EC50 of 25-50 nM.

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