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J Med Chem. 2009 Oct 22;52(20):6297-313. doi: 10.1021/jm900526h.

Synthesis and structure-activity relationships of cyanoguanidine-type and structurally related histamine H4 receptor agonists.

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Department of Pharmaceutical/Medicinal Chemistry, Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy, University of Regensburg, Universitatsstrasse 31, D-93053 Regensburg, Germany.


Recently, we identified high-affinity human histamine H3 (hH3R) and H4 receptor (hH4R) ligands among a series of NG-acylated imidazolylpropylguanidines, which were originally designed as histamine H2 receptor (H2R) agonists. Aiming at selectivity for hH4R, the acylguanidine group was replaced with related moieties. Within a series of cyanoguanidines, 2-cyano-1-[4-(1H-imidazol-4-yl)butyl]-3-[(2-phenylthio)ethyl]guanidine (UR-PI376, 67) was identified as the most potent hH4R agonist (pEC50 = 7.47, alpha = 0.93) showing negligible hH1R and hH2R activities and significant selectivity over the hH3R (pKB = 6.00, alpha = -0.28), as determined in steady-state GTPase assays using membrane preparations of hH(x)R-expressing Sf9 cells. In contrast to previously described selective H4R agonists, this compound and other 3-substituted derivatives are devoid of agonistic activity at the other HR subtypes. Modeling of the binding mode of 67 suggests that the cyanoguanidine moiety forms charge-assisted hydrogen bonds not only with the conserved Asp-94 but also with the hH4R-specific Arg-341 residue. 2-Carbamoyl-1-[2-(1H-imidazol-4-yl)ethyl]-3-(3-phenylpropyl)guanidine (UR-PI97, 88) was unexpectedly identified as a highly potent and selective hH3R inverse agonist (pKB = 8.42, >300-fold selectivity over the other HR subtypes).

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