Imidazole-derived agonists for the neurotensin 1 receptor.

Authors: Hershberger PM, Hedrick MP, Peddibhotla S, Mangravita-Novo A, Gosalia P, Li Y, Gray W, Vicchiarelli M, Smith LH, Chung TD, Thomas JB, Caron MG, Pinkerton AB, Barak LS, Roth GP.
Publisher/Year: Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 24(1):262-7.
Pub Med ID/Journal ID: PMID:24332089


A scaffold-hop program seeking full agonists of the neurotensin-1 (NTR1) receptor identified the probe molecule ML301 (1) and associated analogs, including its naphthyl analog (14) which exhibited similar properties. Compound 1 showed full agonist behavior (79-93%) with an EC50 of 2.0-4.1μM against NTR1. Compound 1 also showed good activity in a Ca mobilization FLIPR assay (93% efficacy at 298nM), consistent with it functioning via the Gq coupled pathway, and good selectivity relative to NTR2 and GPR35. In further profiling, 1 showed low potential for promiscuity and good overall pharmacological data. This report describes the discovery, synthesis, and SAR of 1 and associated analogs. Initial in vitro pharmacologic characterization is also presented.