Probes for narcotic receptor-mediated phenomena. 25. Synthesis and evaluation of N-alkyl-substituted (alpha-piperazinylbenzyl) benzamides as novel, highly selective delta opioid receptor agonists

Katsura, Y.; Zhang, X.; Homma, K.; Rice, K.C.; Calderon, S.N.; Rothman, R.B.; Yamamura, H.I.; Davis, P.; Flippen-Anderson, J.L.; Xu, H.; Becketts, K.; Foltz, E.J.; Porreca, F.

Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 40(18): 2936-2947


ISSN/ISBN: 0022-2623
PMID: 9288176
DOI: 10.1021/jm970106d
Accession: 009247319

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A series of N-alkyl- and N,N-dialkyl-4-(alpha-((2S,5R)-4-allyl-2,5-dimethyl-1-piperazinyl)benzyl)benzamides were synthesized and evaluated for binding affinities at mu, delta, and kappa opioid receptor subtypes. Several compounds (2e,f,h,i,m) strongly bound to the delta receptor with IC-50 values in the nanomolar range. On the other hand, the binding affinities of these compounds for the mu and kappa receptors were in the micromolar or greater range indicating excellent delta opioid receptor subtype selectivities. In this series, two important structure-activity relationships were found for the delta receptor binding affinity. First, the spatial orientation of the alpha-benzylic position influenced the affinities with the alpha-R derivatives 2a-n generally showing more than 10-fold greater affinity than the alpha-S derivatives 3a-n. Second, the binding affinities were strongly influenced by the number of alkyl substituents on the amide nitrogen. N-Monoalkylbenzamide derivatives 2b-d showed lower affinity than N,N-dialkylbenzamide derivatives 2e-n, and the N-unsubstituted benzamide derivative 2a had the lowest affinity for the delta receptor in the series. The dramatic effect of the amide group substitution pattern on the binding affinity for the delta receptor strongly suggests that the amide function is an important structural element in the interaction of this series of compounds at the 6 receptor. Selective compounds in this series were examined for binding affinity in cloned human mu and delta receptors. The results obtained generally paralleled those from the rat brain binding assay. Compounds 2e,f with potent delta binding affinities and high 6 selectivities were shown to be delta agonists with high selectivity by studies in the guinea pig ileum (GPI) and mouse vas deferens (MVD) preparations. Compound 2f was the most selective compound in the rat brain and GPI/MVD assays with 1755- and 958-fold delta vs mu selectivity, respectively.