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Chem Res Toxicol. 2005 Dec;18(12):1858-67.

A quantitative structure--activity relationship model for the intrinsic activity of uncouplers of oxidative phosphorylation.

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Computer-Chemie-Centrum and Institute of Organic Chemistry, University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Nägelsbachstrasse 25, D-91052 Erlangen, Germany.


A quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) has been derived for the prediction of the activity of phenols in uncoupling oxidative and photophosphorylation. Twenty-one compounds with experimental data for uncoupling activity as well as for the acid dissociation constant, pKa, and for partitioning constants of the neutral and the charged species into model membranes were analyzed. From these measured data, the effective concentration in the membrane was derived, which allowed the study of the intrinsic activity of uncouplers within the membrane. A linear regression model for the intrinsic activity could be established using the following three descriptors: solvation free energies of the anions, an estimate for heterodimer formation describing transport processes, and pKa values describing the speciation of the phenols. In a next step, the aqueous effect concentrations were modeled by combining the model for the intrinsic uncoupling activity with descriptors accounting for the uptake into membranes. Results obtained with experimental membrane-water partitioning data were compared with the results obtained with experimental octanol-water partition coefficients, log Kow, and with calculated log Kow values. The properties of these different measures of lipophilicity were critically discussed.

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