Structure–activity relationship studies on 1-heteroaryl-3-phenoxypropan-2-ones acting as inhibitors of cytosolic phospholipase A2α and fatty acid amide hydrolase: replacement of the activated ketone group by other serine traps

Cytosolic phospholipase A2α (cPLA2α) and fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) are serine hydrolases. cPLA2α is involved in the generation of pro-inflammatory lipid mediators, FAAH terminates the anti-inflammatory effects of endocannabinoids. Therefore, inhibitors of these enzymes may represent new drug candidates for the treatment of inflammation. We have reported that certain 1-heteroarylpropan-2-ones are potent inhibitors of cPLA2α and FAAH. The serine reactive ketone group of these compounds, which is crucial for enzyme inhibition, is readily metabolized resulting in inactive alcohol derivatives. In order to obtain metabolically more stable inhibitors, we replaced this moiety by α-ketoheterocyle, cyanamide and nitrile serine traps. Investigations on activity and metabolic stability of these substances revealed that in all cases an increased metabolic stability was accompanied by a loss of inhibitory potency against cPLA2α and FAAH, respectively.