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Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2006 Jun 15;16(12):3175-9. Epub 2006 Apr 5.

Kinesin spindle protein (KSP) inhibitors. Part 4: Structure-based design of 5-alkylamino-3,5-diaryl-4,5-dihydropyrazoles as potent, water-soluble inhibitors of the mitotic kinesin KSP.

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Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Merck Research Laboratories, PO Box 4, Sumneytown Pike, West Point, PA 19486, USA.


Molecular modeling in combination with X-ray crystallographic information was employed to identify a region of the kinesin spindle protein (KSP) binding site not fully utilized by our first generation inhibitors. We discovered that by appending a propylamine substituent at the C5 carbon of a dihydropyrazole core, we could effectively fill this unoccupied region of space and engage in a hydrogen-bonding interaction with the enzyme backbone. This change led to a second generation compound with increased potency, a 400-fold enhancement in aqueous solubility at pH 4, and improved dog pharmacokinetics relative to the first generation compound.

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