JOURNAL ARTICLE

Design, synthesis and biological evaluation of 1-alkyl-5/6-(5-oxo-4,5-dihydro-1,2,4-oxadiazol-3-yl)-1H-indole-3-carbonitriles as novel xanthine oxidase inhibitors

Jun Gao, Xuegui Liu, Bing Zhang, Qing Mao, Zhuo Zhang, Qian Zou, Xiwen Dai, Shaojie Wang
European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 2020 January 21, 190: 112077
32014678
Xanthine oxidase (XO) has emerged as an important target for the treatment of hyperuricemia and gout. In this study, to obtain novel nonpurine XO inhibitors, a series of 1-alkyl-5/6-(5-oxo-4,5-dihydro-1,2,4-oxadiazol-3-yl)-1H-indole-3-carbonitriles (1a-1u, 2c, 2e, 2h and 2n) were designed using a bioisosteric replacement strategy and were synthesized through a five-step procedure with good yields. Thereafter, the in vitro XO inhibitory potencies of these compounds were evaluated by spectrophotometry, showing inhibitory profiles in the micromolar/submicromolar range. Particularly, compound 1h emerged as the strongest XO inhibitor, with an IC50 value of 0.36 μM, which was approximately 21-fold more potent than the positive control allopurinol. Additionally, the structure-activity relationships revealed that the 5-oxo-4,5-dihydro-1,2,4-oxadiazole moiety linked at the 5-position of the indole scaffold was more preferable than the 6-position for the XO inhibitory potency. Enzyme kinetic studies indicated that compound 1h acted as a mixed-type XO inhibitor. Moreover, molecular modeling studies were performed on compound 1h to gain insights into its binding modes with XO. The results showed that the 5-oxo-4,5-dihydro-1,2,4-oxadiazole moiety could interact with Arg880 and Thr1010 in the innermost part of the active pocket through hydrogen bonds, while the cyano group could form hydrogen bonds with Asn768 and Lys771 in the subpocket. Furthermore, the in vivo hypouricemic effect of compound 1h was further investigated in a hyperuricemia rat model induced by potassium oxonate. The results suggested that compound 1h could effectively reduce serum uric acid levels at an oral dose of 10 mg/kg. Therefore, compound 1h could be a promising lead compound for the treatment of hyperuricemia and gout.

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