2,6-Disubstituted 7-(naphthalen-2-ylmethyl)-7H-purines as a new class of potent antitubercular agents inhibiting DprE1.

Publication date: Oct 05, 2023

Phenotypic screening of an in-house library of small molecule purine derivatives against Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) led to the identification of 2-morpholino-7-(naphthalen-2-ylmethyl)-1,7-dihydro-6H-purin-6-one 10 as a potent antimycobacterial agent with MIC of 4 μM. Thorough structure-activity relationship studies revealed the importance of 7-(naphthalen-2-ylmethyl) substitution for antimycobacterial activity, yet opened the possibility of structural modifications at positions 2 and 6 of the purine core. As the result, optimized analogues with 6-amino or ethylamino substitution 56 and 64, respectively, were developed. These compounds showed strong in vitro antimycobacterial activity with MIC of 1 μM against Mtb HRv and against several clinically isolated drug-resistant strains, had limited toxicity to mammalian cell lines, medium clearance with respect to phase I metabolic deactivation (27 and 16. 8 μL/min/mg), sufficient aqueous solubility (>90 μM) and high plasma stability. Interestingly, investigated purines, including compounds 56 and 64, lacked activity against a panel of Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacterial strains, indicating a specific mycobacterial molecular target. To investigate the mechanism of action, Mtb mutants resistant to hit compound 10 were isolated and their genomes were sequenced. Mutations were found in dprE1 (Rv3790), which encodes decaprenylphosphoryl-β-d-ribose oxidase DprE1, enzyme essential for the biosynthesis of arabinose, a vital component of the mycobacterial cell wall. Inhibition of DprE1 by 2,6-disubstituted 7-(naphthalen-2-ylmethyl)-7H-purines was proved using radiolabelling experiments in Mtb HRv in vitro. Finally, structure-binding relationships between selected purines and DprE1 using molecular modeling studies in tandem with molecular dynamic simulations revealed the key structural features for effective drug-target interaction.

Concepts Keywords
4m DprE1
Antimycobacterial Mycobacterium tuberculosis
Library Purine
Mutants Structure-activity relationships
Radiolabelling Tuberculosis


Type Source Name
drug DRUGBANK Methyl isocyanate
disease MESH Tuberculosis
pathway KEGG Tuberculosis

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