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Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2005 Aug 1;15(15):3568-72.

Synthesis of 4(5)-phenylimidazole-based analogues of sphingosine-1-phosphate and FTY720: discovery of potent S1P1 receptor agonists.

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Department of Chemistry, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA.


The novel immunosuppressant FTY720 has been demonstrated to elicit immunomodulating effects via interaction with the G-protein coupled receptor S1P(1). FTY720 induced agonism at the S1P(3) receptor, however, has been shown to result in mild bradycardia, a minor side-effect of initial FTY720 therapy. This report describes the synthesis of several potent 4(5)-phenylimidazole-based S1P(1) receptor agonists that are accompanied by poor agonist activity at S1P(3). For instance, compound 20 displayed an EC(50)=4.7+/-1.3 nM at the S1P(1) receptor and EC(50)=780+/-1.3 nM at the S1P(3) receptor using a [gamma-(35)S]GTP-binding assay as compared to phospho-FTY720 (S1P(1): EC(50)=1.3+/-1.3nM, S1P(3): EC(50)=2.0+/-2.4 nM).

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