Discovery of New 1,1′-Biphenyl-4-sulfonamides as Selective Subnanomolar Human Carbonic Anhydrase II Inhibitors

We report here the synthesis and human carbonic anhydrases (CA, EC 4.2.1.1) inhibitory properties of a series of 4′-substituted 1,1′-biphenyl-4-sulfonamides incorporating a 2″- or 3″-amino- or carboxyphenyl unit. Most compounds showed significant variations in their inhibition profiles against CA II and IX when compared to previously reported analogs 1218 bearing a 4″-amino or a 4″-carboxy group. In particular, compounds 111 showed considerable improvement of the CA II inhibitory efficacy with KI values in the subnanomolar range (KIs spanning between 0.57 and 31.0 nM), a drop of activity against CA IX (KIs in the range 92.0 to 555.7 nM) and were as potent as 1218 toward CA I (KIs in the range 5.9–217.7 nM). Docking and molecular dynamics were used to gain insights on the inhibition profiles. The reported inhibition data show that 111 have potential as novel agents to treat ocular pathologies, such as glaucoma, because of the potent and selective targeting of CA II, which is the isoform most implicated in this disease.