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AAPS PharmSciTech. 2006 June; 7(2): E30–E37.
Published online 2006 April 14. doi:  10.1208/pt070235
PMCID: PMC2750285

Applying pattern recognition methods to analyze the molecular properties of a homologous series of nitrogen mustard agents


The purpose of this research was to analyze the pharmacological properties of a homologous series of nitrogen mustard (N-mustard) agents formed after inserting 1 to 9 methylene groups (-CH2-) between 2-N(CH2CH2Cl)2 groups. These compounds were shown to have significant correlations and associations in their properties after analysis by pattern recognition methods including hierarchical classification, cluster analysis, nonmetric multi-dimensional scaling (MDS), detrended correspondence analysis, K-means cluster analysis, discriminant analysis, and self-organizing tree algorithm (SOTA) analysis. Detrended correspondence analysis showed a linear-like association of the 9 homologs, and hierarchical classification showed that each homolog had great similarity to at least one other member of the series—as did cluster analysis using paired-group distance measure. Nonmetric multi-dimensional scaling was able to discriminate homologs 2 and 3 (by number of methylene groups) from homologs 4, 5, and 6 as a group, and from homologs 7, 8, and 9 as a group. Discriminant analysis, K-means cluster analysis, and hierarchical classification distinguished the high molecular weight homologs from low molecular weight homologs. As the number of methylene groups increased the aqueous solubility decreased, dermal permeation coefficient increased, Log P increased, molar volume increased, parachor increased, and index of refraction decreased. Application of pattern recognition methods discerned useful interrelationships within the homologous series that will determine specific and beneficial clinical applications for each homolog and methods of administration.

Keywords: antineoplastic, nitrogen mustards, multivariate, pattern recognition

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Selected References

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