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Hit-to-lead studies employ a variety of strategies to optimize binding to a target of interest. When a structure for the target is available, hypothesis-driven structure-activity relationships (SAR) are a powerful strategy for refining the pharmacophore to achieve robust binding and selectivity characteristics necessary to identify a lead compound. Recrafting the three-dimensional space occupied by a small molecule, optimization of hydrogen bond contacts, and enhancing local attractive interactions are traditional approaches in medicinal chemistry. Ring size, however, is rarely able to be leveraged as an independent variable because most hits lack the symmetry required for such a study. Our discovery that the cyclic oligomeric depsipeptide ent-verticilide inhibits mammalian cardiac ryanodine receptor calcium release channels with submicromolar potency provided an opportunity to explore ring size as a variable, independent of other structural or functional group changes. We report here that ring size can be a critical independent variable, suggesting that modest conformational changes alone can dramatically affect potency. © 2021 American Chemical Society.


Abigail N Smith, Daniel J Blackwell, Bjorn C Knollmann, Jeffrey N Johnston. Ring Size as an Independent Variable in Cyclooligomeric Depsipeptide Antiarrhythmic Activity. ACS medicinal chemistry letters. 2021 Dec 09;12(12):1942-1947

PMID: 34917258

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