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Bioorg Med Chem. 2010 Jan 15;18(2):953-61. doi: 10.1016/j.bmc.2009.11.029. Epub 2009 Dec 26.

2,4-Diamino-5-methyl-6-substituted arylthio-furo[2,3-d]pyrimidines as novel classical and nonclassical antifolates as potential dual thymidylate synthase and dihydrofolate reductase inhibitors.

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Division of Medicinal Chemistry, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA 15282, United States.


A novel classical antifolate N-{4-[(2,4-diamino-5-methyl-furo[2,3-d]pyrimidin-6-yl)thio]-benzoyl}-l-glutamic acid 5 and 11 nonclassical antifolates 6-16 were designed, synthesized, and evaluated as inhibitors of dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) and thymidylate synthase (TS). The nonclassical compounds 6-16 were synthesized from 20 via oxidative addition of substituted thiophenols using iodine. Peptide coupling of the intermediate acid 21 followed by saponification gave the classical analog 5. Compound 5 is the first example, to our knowledge, of a 2,4-diamino furo[2,3-d]pyrimidine classical antifolate that has inhibitory activity against both human DHFR and human TS. The classical analog 5 was a nanomolar inhibitor and remarkably selective inhibitor of Pneumocystis carinii DHFR and Mycobacterium avium DHFR at 263-fold and 2107-fold, respectively, compared to mammalian DHFR. The nonclassical analogs 6-16 were moderately potent against pathogen DHFR or TS. This study shows that the furo[2,3-d]pyrimidine scaffold is conducive to dual human DHFR-TS inhibitory activity and to high potency and selectivity for pathogen DHFR.

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