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Exploiting the Chromone Scaffold for the Development of Inhibitors of Corticosteroid Biosynthesis

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posted on 03.03.2016, 00:00 by Silvia Gobbi, Qingzhong Hu, Christina Zimmer, Matthias Engel, Federica Belluti, Angela Rampa, Rolf W. Hartmann, Alessandra Bisi
The inhibition of corticosteroid biosynthesis could be considered as an emerging strategy to reduce their abnormally high levels, and in this framework CYP11B1 and CYP11B2 represent the most promising targets. In continuing our studies on flavonoid-like scaffolds as privileged structures in medicinal chemistry, in this paper we describe a small library of pyridyl- and imidazolylmethyl­chromones as potential inhibitors of these enzymes. Testing results proved that position 3 of the chromone scaffold is the most favorable for the introduction of the heme-coordinating heterocycles and, among them, the 4-imidazolyl moiety is the most convenient for the interaction with the heme iron of the selected cytochromes. A low nanomolar inhibitor of CYP11B1 (5c) was obtained, endowed with reasonable selectivity toward CYP11B2 and able to better discriminate with respect to CYP17 and CYP19.