Molecular Hybridization of Potent and Selective γ-Hydroxybutyric Acid (GHB) Ligands: Design, Synthesis, Binding Studies, and Molecular Modeling of Novel 3-Hydroxycyclopent-1-enecarboxylic Acid (HOCPCA) and trans-γ-Hydroxycrotonic Acid (T-HCA) Analogs

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γ-Hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) is a neuroactive substance with specific high-affinity binding sites. To facilitate target identification and ligand optimization, we herein report a comprehensive structure–affinity relationship study for novel ligands targeting these binding sites. A molecular hybridization strategy was used based on the conformationally restricted 3-hydroxycyclopent-1-enecarboxylic acid (HOCPCA) and the linear GHB analog trans-4-hydroxycrotonic acid (T-HCA). In general, all structural modifications performed on HOCPCA led to reduced affinity. In contrast, introduction of diaromatic substituents into the 4-position of T-HCA led to high-affinity analogs (medium nanomolar Ki) for the GHB high-affinity binding sites as the most high-affinity analogs reported to date. The SAR data formed the basis for a three-dimensional pharmacophore model for GHB ligands, which identified molecular features important for high-affinity binding, with high predictive validity. These findings will be valuable in the further processes of both target characterization and ligand identification for the high-affinity GHB binding sites.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number21
Pages (from-to)9022-9039
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2017

ID: 185276297