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J Med Chem. 1996 Aug 16;39(17):3248-55.

Synthesis and structure-activity relationships of 1,2,3,4-tetrahydroquinoline-2,3,4-trione 3-oximes: novel and highly potent antagonists for NMDA receptor glycine site.

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CoCensys Inc., Irvine, California 92618, USA.


A series of 1,2,3,4-tetrahydroquinoline-2,3,4-trione 3-oximes (QTOs) was synthesized and evaluated for antagonism of NMDA receptor glycine site. Glycine site affinity was determined using a [3H]DCKA binding assay in rat brain membranes and electrophysiologically in Xenopus oocytes expressing 1a/2C subunits of cloned rat NMDA receptors. Selected compounds were also assayed for antagonism of AMPA receptors in Xenopus oocytes expressing rat brain poly-(A)+RNA. QTOs were prepared by nitrosation of 2,4-quinolinediols. Structure-activity studies indicated that substitutions in the 5-, 6-, and 7-positions increase potency, whereas substitution in the 8-position causes a decrease in potency. Among the derivatives evaluated, 5,6,7-trichloro-QTO was the most potent antagonist with an IC50 of 7 nM in the [3H]DCKA binding assay and a Kb of 1-2 nM for NMDA receptors expressed in Xenopus oocytes. 5,6,7-Trichloro-QTO also had a Kb of 180 nM for AMPA receptors in electrophysiological assays. The SAR of QTOs was compared with the SAR of 1,4-dihydroquinoxaline-2,3-diones (QXs). For compounds with the same benzene ring substitution pattern, QTOs were generally 5-10 times more potent than the corresponding QXs. QTOs represent a new class of inhibitors of the NMDA receptor which, when appropriately substituted, are among the most potent glycine site antagonists known.

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