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Synthesis of Novel GABA Uptake Inhibitors. 3. Diaryloxime and Diarylvinyl Ether Derivatives of Nipecotic Acid and Guvacine as Anticonvulsant Agents

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journal contribution
posted on 05.08.1999, 00:00 by Lars J. S. Knutsen, Knud Erik Andersen, Jesper Lau, Behrend F. Lundt, Rodger F. Henry, Howard E. Morton, Lars Nærum, Hans Petersen, Henrik Stephensen, Peter D. Suzdak, Michael D. B. Swedberg, Christian Thomsen, Per O. Sørensen
(3R)-1-[4,4-bis(3-methyl-2-thienyl)-3-butenyl]-3-piperidinecarboxylic acid 1 (tiagabine, Gabitril) is a potent and selective γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) uptake inhibitor with proven anticonvulsant efficacy in humans. This drug, which has a unique mechanism of action among marketed anticonvulsant agents, has been launched for add-on treatment of partial seizures with or without secondary generalization in patients >12 years of age. Using this new agent as a benchmark, we have designed two series of novel GABA uptake inhibitors of remarkable potency, using a putative new model of ligand interaction at the GABA transporter type 1 (GAT-1) uptake site. This model involves the postulated interaction of an electronegative region in the GABA uptake inhibitor with a positively charged domain in the protein structure of the GAT-1 site. These two novel series of anticonvulsant agents contain diaryloxime or diarylvinyl ether functionalities linked to cyclic amino acid moieties and were derived utilizing the new model, via a series of design steps from the known 4,4-diarylbutenyl GABA uptake inhibitors. The new compounds are potent inhibitors of [3H]-GABA uptake in rat brain synaptosomes in vitro, and their antiepileptic potential was demonstrated in vivo by their ability to protect against seizures induced by the benzodiazepine receptor inverse agonist methyl 4-ethyl-6,7-dimethoxy-β-carboline-3-carboxylate (DMCM) in mice. From structure−activity studies of these new GABA uptake inhibitors, we have shown that insertion of an ether oxygen in conjugation with the double bond in tiagabine (Ki = 67 nM) improves in vitro potency by 5-fold to 14 nM.