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J Med Chem. 2017 Mar 23;60(6):2401-2410. doi: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.6b01759. Epub 2017 Mar 9.

High-Potency Phenylquinoxalinone Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator (CFTR) Activators.

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Department of Chemistry, University of California , Davis, California 95616, United States.
Departments of Medicine & Physiology, University of California , San Francisco, California 94143, United States.


We previously identified phenylquinoxalinone CFTRact-J027 (4) as a cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) activator with an EC50 of ∼200 nM and demonstrated its therapeutic efficacy in mouse models of constipation. Here, structure-activity studies were done on 36 synthesized phenylquinoxalinone analogs to identify compounds with improved potency and altered metabolic stability. Synthesis of the phenylquinoxalinone core was generally accomplished by condensation of 1,2-phenylenediamines with substituted phenyloxoacetates. Structure-activity studies established, among other features, the privileged nature of a properly positioned nitro moiety on the 3-aryl group. Synthesized analogs showed improved CFTR activation potency compared to 4 with EC50 down to 21 nM and with greater metabolic stability. CFTR activators have potential therapeutic indications in constipation, dry eye, cholestatic liver diseases, and inflammatory lung disorders.

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