stereocontrolled synthesis and pharmacological characterization as ligands for glutamate receptors and transporters
A set of ten azetidinic amino acids, that can be envisioned as C-4 alkyl substituted analogues of trans-2-carboxyazetidine-3-acetic acid (t-CAA) and/or conformationally constrained analogues of (R)- or (S)-glutamic acid (Glu) have been synthesized in a diastereo- and enantiomerically pure form from beta-amino alcohols through a straightforward five step sequence. The key step of this synthesis is an original anionic 4-exo-tet ring closure that forms the azetidine ring upon an intramolecular Michael addition. This reaction was proven to be reversible and to lead to a thermodynamic distribution of two diastereoisomers that were easily separated and converted in two steps into azetidinic amino acids. Azetidines 35-44 were characterized in binding studies on native ionotropic Glu receptors and in functional assays at cloned metabotropic receptors mGluR1, 2 and 4, representing group I, II and III mGlu receptors, respectively. Furthermore, azetidine analogues 35, 36, and 40 were also characterized as potential ligands at the glutamate transporter subtypes EAAT1-3 in the FLIPR Membrane Potential (FMP) assay. The (2R)-azetidines 35, 37, 39, 41 and 43 were inactive in iGlu, mGlu and EAAT assays, whereas a marked change in the pharmacological profile at the iGlu receptors was observed when a methyl group was introduced in the C-4 position, compound 36 versus t-CAA. At EAAT1-3, compound 35 was inactive, whereas azetidines 36 and 40 were both identified as inhibitors and showed selectivity for the EAAT2 subtype.
Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry, 2005, Vol 3, Issue 21, p. 3926-36
Amino Acid Transport System X-AG; Amino Acids; Animals; Azetidines; Cyclization; Humans; Ligands; Protein Binding; Receptors, Glutamate; Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate; Stereoisomerism; Structure-Activity Relationship