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J Med Chem. 1998 Jul 30;41(16):3048-61.

Design, synthesis, and pharmacological evaluation of conformationally constrained analogues of N,N'-diaryl- and N-aryl-N-aralkylguanidines as potent inhibitors of neuronal Na+ channels.

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Cambridge NeuroScience Inc., One Kendall Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.


In the present investigation, the rationale for the design, synthesis, and biological evaluation of potent inhibitors of neuronal Na+ channels is described. N,N'-diaryl- and N-aryl-N-aralkylguanidine templates were locked in conformations mimicking the permissible conformations of the flexible diarylguanidinium ion (AS+, AA+, SS+). The resulting set of constrained guanidines termed "lockamers" (cyclophane, quinazoline, aminopyrimidazolines, aminoimidazolines, azocino- and tetrahydroquinolinocarboximidamides) was examined for neuronal Na+ channel blockade properties. Inhibition of [14C]guanidinium ion influx in CHO cells expressing type IIA Na+ channels showed that the aminopyrimidazoline 9b and aminoimidazoline 9d, compounds proposed to lock the N,N'-diarylguanidinium in an SS+ conformation, were the most potent Na+ channel blockers with IC50's of 0.06 microM, a value 17 times lower than that of the parent flexible compound 18d. The rest of the restricted analogues with 4-p-alkyl substituents retained potency with IC50 values ranging between 0.46 and 2.9 microM. Evaluation in a synaptosomal 45Ca2+ influx assay showed that 9b did not exhibit high selectivity for neuronal Na+ vs Ca2+ channels. The retention of significant neuronal Na+ blockade in all types of semirigid conformers gives evidence for a multiple mode of binding in this class of compounds and can possibly be attributed to a poor structural specificity of the site(s) of action. Compound 9b was also found to be the most active compound in vivo based on the high level of inhibition of seizures exhibited in the DBA/2 mouse model. The pKa value of 9b indicates that 9b binds to the channel in its protonated form, and log D vs pH measurements suggest that ion-pair partitioning contributes to membrane transport. This compound stands out as an interesting lead for further development of neurotherapeutic agents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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