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Bioorg Med Chem. 2008 Jan 1;16(1):542-59. Epub 2007 Oct 11.

Synthesis of 4,5,6,7-tetrahydrothieno[3,2-c]pyridines and comparison with their isosteric 1,2,3,4-tetrahydroisoquinolines as inhibitors of phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase.

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Department of Medicinal Chemistry, The University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045, USA.


A series of substituted 4,5,6,7-tetrahydrothieno[3,2-c]pyridines (THTPs) was synthesized and evaluated for their human phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase (hPNMT) inhibitory potency and affinity for the alpha(2)-adrenoceptor. The THTP nucleus was suggested as an isosteric replacement for the 1,2,3,4-tetrahydroisoquinoline (THIQ) ring system on the basis that 3-thienylmethylamine (18) was more potent as an inhibitor of hPNMT and more selective toward the alpha(2)-adrenoceptor than benzylamine (15). Although the isosterism was confirmed, with similar influence of functional groups and chirality in both systems on hPNMT inhibitory potency and selectivity, the THTP compounds proved, in general, to be less potent as inhibitors of hPNMT than their THIQ counterparts, with the drop in potency being primarily attributed to the electronic properties of the thiophene ring. A hypothesis for the reduced hPNMT inhibitory potency of these compounds has been formed on the basis of molecular modeling and docking studies using the X-ray crystal structures of hPNMT co-crystallized with THIQ-type inhibitors and S-adenosyl-L-homocysteine as a template.

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