Replacement of the hydrophobic part of 9-cis-retinoic acid with cyclic terpenoid moiety results in RXR-selective agonistic activity.

Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry

PubMedID: 21489804

Okitsu T, Sato K, Iwatsuka K, Sawada N, Nakagawa K, Okano T, Yamada S, Kakuta H, Wada A. Replacement of the hydrophobic part of 9-cis-retinoic acid with cyclic terpenoid moiety results in RXR-selective agonistic activity. Bioorg Med Chem. 2011;19(9):2939-49.
Retinoid X receptor (RXR) agonists are interesting candidates for the treatment of metabolic syndrome. 9-Cis-retinoic acid (9cRA: 1) is a natural RXR agonist, that also works as a retinoic acid receptor (RAR) agonist. This fact prompted us to study the structure-activity relationship (SAR) of RXR agonists derived from 1. Though 3 and 4, in which the cyclohexene part of 1 is replaced with bulkier hydrophobic moieties, show RXR-selective agonistic activity, some analogs containing other ring structures show RAR agonistic activity. Thus, we were interested in establishing what kind of ring skeleton is required for RXR-selective agonistic activity. In this study, we systematically prepared 5 and 6, in which the cyclohexene ring of 1 is replaced with various cyclic terpenoid moieties, and evaluated their RXR and RAR agonistic activities. Our previously reported CsF-promoted Stille coupling reaction was employed as a key step for the comprehensive synthesis of 5 and 6. The results of transcriptional assay showed that compounds 5b-f, which possess a menthane skeleton, exhibit RXR-selective agonistic activity. These results should be helpful for the design of superior RXR-selective agonists based on the structure of 1.