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Papers: 1 Jun 2024 - 7 Jun 2024

2024 May 31



1,4-Pyrazolyl-containing SAFit-analogues are selective FKBP51 inhibitors with improved ligand efficiency and drug-like profile.


Buffa V, Meyners C, Sugiarto WO, Bauder M, Gaali S, Hausch F


The FK506 binding protein 51 (FKBP51) is an appealing drug target due to its role in several diseases such as depression, anxiety, chronic pain and obesity. Towards this, selectivity versus the close homolog FKBP52 is essential. However, currently available FKBP51-selective ligands such as SAFit2 are too large and lack drug-like properties. Here, we present a structure activity relationship (SAR) analysis of the pipecolic ester moiety of SAFit1 and SAFit2, which culminated in the discovery of the 1,4-pyrazolyl derivative 23d, displaying a binding affinity of 0.077 µM for FKBP51, reduced molecular weight (541.7 g/mol), lower hydrophobicity (cLogP = 3.72) and higher ligand efficiency (LE = 0.25). Cocrystal structures revealed the importance of the 1,4- and 1,3,4- substitution patterns of the pyrazole ring versus the 1,4,5 arrangement.