A series of structurally simple chloroquine chemosensitizing dibemethin derivatives that inhibit chloroquine transport by PfCRT

Vincent K. Zishiri, Roger Hunter, Peter J. Smith, Dale Taylor, Robert Summers, Kiaran Kirk, Rowena E. Martin, Timothy J. Egan

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    25 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    A series of 12 new dibemethin (N-benzyl-N-methyl-1-phenylmethanamine) derivatives bearing an N-aminomethyl group attached to the one phenyl ring and an H, Cl, OCH3 or N(CH3)2 group on the other have been synthesized. These compounds all showed strong chloroquine chemosensitizing activity, comparable to verapamil, when present at 1 μM in an in vitro culture of the chloroquine-resistant W2 strain of the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. Their N-formylated derivatives also exhibited resistance-reversing activity, but only at substantially higher IC10 concentrations. A number of the dibemethin derivatives were shown to inhibit chloroquine transport via the parasite's 'chloroquine resistance transporter' (PfCRT) in a Xenopus laevis oocyte expression system. The reduced resistance-reversing activity of the formylated compounds relative to their free amine counterparts can probably be ascribed to two factors: decreased accumulation of the formylated dibemethins within the parasite's internal digestive vacuole (believed to be the site of action of chloroquine), and a reduced ability to inhibit PfCRT. The resistance-reversing activity of the compounds described here demonstrates that the amino group need not be attached to the two aromatic rings via a three or four carbon chain as has been suggested by previous QSAR studies. These compounds may be useful as potential side chains for attaching to a 4,7-dichloroquinoline group in order to generate new resistance-reversing chloroquine analogues with inherent antimalarial activity.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1729-1742
    Number of pages14
    JournalEuropean Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
    Volume46
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - May 2011

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