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Structure–Activity Relationship Studies of Pyrimidine-4-Carboxamides as Inhibitors of N‑Acylphosphatidylethanolamine Phospholipase D

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journal contribution
posted on 2020-12-31, 16:08 authored by Elliot D. Mock, Ioli Kotsogianni, Wouter P. F. Driever, Carmen S. Fonseca, Jelle M. Vooijs, Hans den Dulk, Constant A. A. van Boeckel, Mario van der Stelt
N-Acylphosphatidylethanolamine phospholipase D (NAPE-PLD) is regarded as the main enzyme responsible for the biosynthesis of N-acylethanolamines (NAEs), a family of bioactive lipid mediators. Previously, we reported N-(cyclopropylmethyl)-6-((S)-3-hydroxypyrrolidin-1-yl)-2-((S)-3-phenylpiperidin-1-yl)­pyrimidine-4-carboxamide (1, LEI-401) as the first potent and selective NAPE-PLD inhibitor that decreased NAEs in the brains of freely moving mice and modulated emotional behavior [Mock Nat Chem. Biol., 2020, 16, 667−675]. Here, we describe the structure–activity relationship (SAR) of a library of pyrimidine-4-carboxamides as inhibitors of NAPE-PLD that led to the identification of LEI-401. A high-throughput screening hit was modified at three different substituents to optimize its potency and lipophilicity. Conformational restriction of an N-methylphenethylamine group by replacement with an (S)-3-phenylpiperidine increased the inhibitory potency 3-fold. Exchange of a morpholine substituent for an (S)-3-hydroxypyrrolidine reduced the lipophilicity and further increased activity by 10-fold, affording LEI-401 as a nanomolar potent inhibitor with drug-like properties. LEI-401 is a suitable pharmacological tool compound to investigate NAPE-PLD function in vitro and in vivo.