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J Med Chem. 2010 Apr 22;53(8):3320-9. doi: 10.1021/jm100047k.

Characterization of the pharmacophore properties of novel selective estrogen receptor downregulators (SERDs).

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Department of Chemistry, University of Illinois, 600 South Mathews Avenue, Urbana, Illinois 61801, USA.


Selective estrogen receptor (ER) down-regulators (SERDs) reduce ERalpha protein levels as well as block ER activity and therefore are promising therapeutic agents for the treatment of hormone refractory breast cancer. Starting with the triarylethylene acrylic acid SERD 4, we have investigated how alterations in both the ligand core structure and the appended acrylic acid substituent affect SERD activity. The new ligands were based on high affinity, symmetrical cyclofenil or bicyclo[3.3.1]nonane core systems, and in these, the position of the carboxyl group was extended from the ligand core, either retaining the vinylic linkage of the substituent or replacing it with an ether linkage. Although most structural variants showed binding affinities for ERalpha and ERbeta higher than that of 4, only the compounds preserving the acrylic acid side chain retained SERD activity, although they could possess varying core structures. Hence, the acrylic acid moiety of the ligand is crucial for SERD-like blockade of ER activities.

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