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Mitochondrial complex II and complex III are two promising targets for the development of numerous pharmaceuticals and pesticides. Although tremendous inhibitors of either complex II or complex III were identified, compounds which are capable of prohibiting the activities of both complexes have been rarely reported. Since multi-target drugs can interact with several drug targets simultaneously, we were keen on discovering new and potent dual-target inhibitors of both complex II and complex III. Therefore, a new series of structurally simplified sulfonamides bearing a diaryl ether scaffold were designed and synthesized in this paper. Afterwards, the biological activities of the newly synthesized compounds were evaluated. The results implied that several compounds demonstrated outstanding potency against succinate-cytochrome c reductase (SCR, a mixture of complex II and complex III). Further studies confirmed that N-(3,5-Dichloro-4-(2,4,6-trichlorophenoxy)phenyl)benzenesulfonamide (3f), a representative compound herein, was identified as a dual-target inhibitor of both complexes. Furthermore, computational simulations were also performed to have a better understanding about binding of 3f to the enzyme complexes, which concluded that 3f should bind to complex II and the Qo site of complex III. Consequently, we harbor the idea that this work can be beneficial for the synthesis and discovery of more dual- or multi-target inhibitors. Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Hua Cheng, Hong-Fu Liu, Lu Yang, Rui Zhang, Cheng Chen, Yuan Wu, Wen Jiang. N-(3,5-Dichloro-4-(2,4,6-trichlorophenoxy)phenyl)benzenesulfonamide: A new dual-target inhibitor of mitochondrial complex II and complex III via structural simplification. Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry. 2020 Mar 01;28(5):115299

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PMID: 31980361

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