Journal of medicinal chemistry

Carbonic anhydrase activators: design of high affinity isozymes I, II, and IV activators, incorporating tri-/tetrasubstituted-pyridinium-azole moieties.

PMID 11784154


A series of tight binding carbonic anhydrase (CA) activators was obtained by reaction of amino-azoles (3-amino-pyrazole, 2-amino-imidazole, and 5-amino-tetrazole) with tri- or tetrasubstituted pyrylium salts. Many of the new pyridinium salts incorporating azole moieties reported here proved to be efficient in vitro activators of three CA isozymes, CA I, II, and IV. Very good activity was detected against hCA I and bCA IV (h = human; b = bovine isozymes), for which some of the new compounds showed affinities in the low nanomolar range, whereas against hCA II, their affinities were in the range of 95-150 nM. Substitution patterns of the pyridinium ring leading to best activity included 4-phenyl-2,6-dialkyl moieties or 2,4,6-tri- and 2,3,4,6-tetraalkyl groups. Ex vivo experiments showed some of the new activators to strongly enhance CA activity after incubation with human erythrocytes. Furthermore, due to their cationic nature, some of these compounds (the imidazole and pyrazole derivatives) are membrane-impermeant, discriminating thus between cytosolic and membrane-bound CA isozymes. The present paper is the first report of membrane-impermeant CA activators. The pyridinium tetrazole derivatives on the other hand do penetrate through biological membranes. Such CA activators might lead to the development of drugs/diagnostic tools for the management of CA deficiency syndromes as well as for the pharmacological enhancement of synaptic efficacy, spatial learning, and memory. This may constitute a new approach for the treatment of Alzheimer disease and other conditions in need of achieving memory therapy.

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