[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A new class of N-acetyl-D-glucosamine (GlcNAc) mimics for E-selectin antagonists was designed and synthesized. The mimic consists of a cyclohexane ring substituted with alkyl substituents adjacent to the linking position of the fucose moiety. Incorporation into E-selectin antagonists led to the test compounds 8 and the 2'-benzoylated analogues 21, which exhibit affinities in the low micromolar range. By using saturation transfer difference (STD)-NMR it could be shown that the increase in affinity does not result from an additional hydrophobic contact of the alkyl substituent with the target protein E-selectin, but rather from a steric effect stabilizing the antagonist in its bioactive conformation. The loss of affinity found for antagonists 10 and 35 containing a methyl substituent in a remote position (and therefore unable to support to the stabilization of the core) further supports this hypothesis. Finally, when a GlcNAc mimetic containing two methyl substituents (52 and 53) was used, in which one methyl was positioned adjacent to the fucose linking position and the other was in a remote position, the affinity was regained.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The tetrasaccharide substructure 1 of the ganglioside GQ1balpha shows a remarkable affinity for the myelin-associated glycoprotein (MAG). In the search for structurally simplified and pharmacokinetically improved mimics of 1, biphenyl was identified as a feasible replacement for the core disaccharide Galbeta(1-3)GalNAc according to saturation transfer difference (STD) NMR and molecular modeling investigations. Using Suzuki coupling, a convergent synthesis of the mimics was achieved. To optimize the yields of the coupling reactions, the catalytic effects of microwave irradiation and conventional heating were compared. The biological evaluation of mimics 3 and 4 was performed in a competitive target-based assay. It was found that the relative inhibitory potency (rIP) of antagonist 3 was clearly enhanced in comparison to the reference trisaccharide 2, despite the former having a much simpler structure. In addition to the improved synthetic feasibility, an increase of the partition coefficient between octanol and water (logP), and therefore a beneficial change in the pharmacokinetic properties of 3 and 4 was achieved.