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1.  Structure–Activity Relationships and Molecular Modeling of 3,5-Diacyl-2,4-dialkylpyridine Derivatives as Selective A3 Adenosine Receptor Antagonists 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  1998;41(17):3186-3201.
The structure-activity relationships of 6-phenyl-1,4-dihydropyridine derivatives as selective antagonists at human A3 adenosine receptors have been explored (Jiang et al. J. Med. Chem. 1997, 39, 4667-4675). In the present study, related pyridine derivatives have been synthesized and tested for affinity at adenosine receptors in radioligand binding assays. Ki values in the nanomolar range were observed for certain 3,5-diacyl-2,4-dialkyl-6-phenylpyridine derivatives in displacement of [125I]AB-MECA (N6-(4-amino-3-iodobenzyl)-5′-N-methylcarbamoyladenosine) at recombinant human A3 adenosine receptors. Selectivity for A3 adenosine receptors was determined vs radioligand binding at rat brain A1 and A2A receptors. Structure–activity relationships at various positions of the pyridine ring (the 3- and 5-acyl substituents and the 2- and 4-alkyl substituents) were probed. A 4-phenylethynyl group did not enhance A3 selectivity of pyridine derivatives, as it did for the 4-substituted dihydropyridines. At the 2-and 4-positions ethyl was favored over methyl. Also, unlike the dihydropyridines, a thioester group at the 3-position was favored over an ester for affinity at A3 adenosine receptors, and a 5-position benzyl ester decreased affinity. Small cycloalkyl groups at the 6-position of 4-phenylethynyl-1,4-dihydropyridines were favorable for high affinity at human A3 adenosine receptors, while in the pyridine series a 6-cyclopentyl group decreased affinity. 5-Ethyl 2,4-diethyl-3-(ethylsulfanylcarbonyl)-6-phenylpyridine-5-carboxylate, 38, was highly potent at human A3 receptors, with a Ki value of 20 nM. A 4-propyl derivative, 39b, was selective and highly potent at both human and rat A3 receptors, with Ki values of 18.9 and 113 nM, respectively. A 6-(3-chlorophenyl) derivative, 44, displayed a Ki value of 7.94 nM at human A3 receptors and selectivity of 5200-fold. Molecular modeling, based on the steric and electrostatic alignment (SEAL) method, defined common pharmacophore elements for pyridine and dihydropyridine structures, e.g., the two ester groups and the 6-phenyl group. Moreover, a relationship between affinity and hydrophobicity was found for the pyridines.
PMCID: PMC3474377  PMID: 9703464
2.  Human P2Y1 Receptor: Molecular Modeling and Site-Directed Mutagenesis as Tools To Identify Agonist and Antagonist Recognition Sites 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  1998;41(9):1456-1466.
The molecular basis for recognition by human P2Y1 receptors of the novel, competitive antagonist 2′-deoxy-N6-methyladenosine 3′,5′-bisphosphate (MRS 2179) was probed using site-directed mutagenesis and molecular modeling. The potency of this antagonist was measured in mutant receptors in which key residues in the transmembrane helical domains (TMs) 3, 5, 6, and 7 were replaced by Ala or other amino acids. The capacity of MRS 2179 to block stimulation of phospholipase C promoted by 2-methylthioadenosine 5′-diphosphate (2-MeSADP) was lost in P2Y1 receptors having F226A, K280A, or Q307A mutations, indicating that these residues are critical for the binding of the antagonist molecule. Mutation of the residues His132, Thr222, and Tyr136 had an intermediate effect on the capacity of MRS 2179 to block the P2Y1 receptor. These positions therefore appear to have a modulatory role in recognition of this antagonist. F131A, H277A, T221A, R310K, or S317A mutant receptors exhibited an apparent affinity for MRS 2179 that was similar to that observed with the wild-type receptor. Thus, Phe131, Thr221, His277, and Ser317 are not essential for antagonist recognition. A computer-generated model of the human P2Y1 receptor was built and analyzed to help interpret these results. The model was derived through primary sequence comparison, secondary structure prediction, and three-dimensional homology building, using rhodopsin as a template, and was consistent with data obtained from mutagenesis studies. We have introduced a “cross-docking” procedure to obtain energetically refined 3D structures of the ligand–receptor complexes. Cross-docking simulates the reorganization of the native receptor structure induced by a ligand. A putative nucleotide binding site was localized and used to predict which residues are likely to be in proximity to agonists and antagonists. According to our model TM6 and TM7 are close to the adenine ring, TM3 and TM6 are close to the ribose moiety, and TM3, TM6, and TM7 are near the triphosphate chain.
PMCID: PMC3469197  PMID: 9554879

Results 1-2 (2)