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Papers of the Week

Papers: 9 Sep 2023 - 15 Sep 2023

Basic Science

In Vitro Studies, Molecular/Cellular, Pharmacology/Drug Development

2023 Sep 04

Bioorg Med Chem



Truxillic acid monoamides as fatty acid binding protein 5 inhibitors.


Zhu C, Schutz L, Jayanetti K, Takemura K, Doswell F, Wang L, Ojima I, Kaczocha M


Fatty acid binding proteins (FABPs) are intracellular chaperones that deliver bioactive lipids to cytosolic enzymes and nuclear receptors, thereby regulating diverse biological functions. FABP5 is a member of the FABP family that mediates endocannabinoid transport and inactivation, with pharmacological or genetic FABP5 inhibition conferring antinociceptive effects. Consequently, FABP5 inhibitors have emerged as promising analgesics and demonstrate antinociceptive activity in models of pain. Recently developed FABP5 inhibitors based upon the α-truxillic acid monoester (TAME) scaffold demonstrate high affinities for FABP5 but are commonly accompanied by reduced selectivity against related FABPs, notably FABP3 that is expressed in the heart, highlighting the need to identify additional scaffolds that afford enhanced selectivity while maintaining FABP5 potency. Here, we describe the synthesis and biological evaluation of truxillic acid monoamides (TAMADs) as potent, selective, and efficacious FABP5 inhibitors. Combining in silico molecular docking and in vitro binding assay approaches, our findings demonstrate that TAMADs exhibit exceptional selectivity against FABP3 and several compounds attain high FABP5 affinities. Examination of antinociceptive activity revealed that TAMADs and their corresponding TAMEs demonstrate comparable efficacy and temporal activity profiles in vivo. These results position TAMAD as a suitable scaffold for the development of FABP5 inhibitors with diminished FABP3 cross-reactivity.