[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The application of 2D-NMR spectroscopy and Molecular Modeling in determining the active conformation of flexible molecules in 3D-QSAR was demonstrated in the present study. In particular, a series of 33 flexible synthetic phospholipids, either 2-(4-alkylidene-cyclohexyloxy)ethyl- or omega-cycloalkylidene-substituted ether phospholipids were systematically evaluated for their in vitro antileishmanial activity against the promastigote forms of Leishmania infantum and Leishmania donovani by CoMFA and CoMSIA 3D-QSAR studies. Steric and hydrophobic properties of the phospholipids under study appear to govern their antileishmanial activity against both strains, while the electrostatic properties have no significant contribution. The acknowledgment of these important properties of the pharmacophore will aid in the rational design of new analogues with higher activity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Three series of ring-substituted ether phospholipids were synthesized carrying N,N,N-trimethylammonium, N-methylpiperidino, or N-methylmorpholino headgroups. The first series is substituted by 2-cyclohexyloxyethyl or 2-(4-alkylidenecyclohexyloxy)ethyl groups, the second series by cyclohexylidenealkyl or adamantylidenealkyl moieties, and the third series by 2-aryloxyethyl or 6-aryloxyhexyl groups in the alkyl portion of the molecule. The antileishmanial activity of the new compounds was evaluated in vitro against the promastigote forms of L. donovani and L. infantum using an MTT (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide)-based microassay as a marker of cell viability. Analogues 12, 15, 24, 30, 32, 41, 43, and 45 were more potent than the control compound miltefosine (hexadecylphosphocholine) against both L. donovani and L. infantum while, derivatives 13 and 42 were equipotent to miltefosine. Analogues 16, 17, 19, 20 were more potent than miltefosine against L. infantumand compounds 27, 31, 44 were more active than miltefosine against L. donovani. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) was used to probe the role of individual ether phospholipids on the physicochemical properties of model membranes. The DSC scans showed that the active compounds have a more profound effect on the thermotropic properties of model membrane bilayers than the less active ones.