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Papers of the Week

2022 Feb 16




Synthesis and Structure-Activity Relationship Studies of Benzimidazole-4,7-dione-Based P2X3 Receptor Antagonists as Novel Anti-Nociceptive Agents.


P2X3 receptors (P2X3R) are ATP-gated ion channels predominantly expressed in C- and Aδ-fiber primary afferent neurons and have been introduced as a novel therapeutic target for neurological disorders, including neuropathic pain and chronic cough. Because of its localized distribution, antagonism of P2X3R has been thoroughly considered, and the avoidance of issues related to CNS side effects has been proven in clinical trials. In this article, benzimidazole-4,7-dione-based derivatives were introduced as a new chemical entity for the development of P2X3R antagonists. Starting from the discovery of a hit compound from the screening of 8364 random library compounds in the Korea Chemical Bank, which had an IC value of 1030 nM, studies of structure-activity and structure-property relationships enabled further optimization toward improving the antagonistic activities as well as the drug's physicochemical properties, including metabolic stability. As for the results, the final optimized compound was developed with an IC value of 375 nM at P2X3R with more than 23-fold selectivity versus P2X2/3R, along with properties of metabolic stability and improved solubility. In neuropathic pain animal models evoked by either nerve ligation or chemotherapeutics in male Sprague-Dawley rats, compound showed anti-nociceptive effects through an increase in the mechanical withdrawal threshold as measured by von Frey filament following intravenous administration.