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Structure−Activity Relationship and Solubility Studies of N1‐Substituted Quinoxaline‐2,3‐diones as Kainate Receptor Antagonists

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This study presents the synthesis and structure-activity analysis of 21 new quinoxaline-2,3-dione derivatives as glutamate receptor ligands. Solubility studies focused on strategic structural modifications and resulted in increased solubility in water and alkaline conditions. These findings provide the potential for the development of active compounds with improved solubility.


Kainate receptors are a class of ionotropic glutamate receptors that respond to the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate in the central nervous system and play an important role in the development of neurodegenerative disorders and the regulation of synaptic function. In the current study, we investigated the structure- activity relationship of the series of quinoxaline-2,3-diones substituted at N1, 6, and 7 positions, as ligands of kainate homomeric receptors GluK1-3 and GluK5. Pharmacological characterization showed that all derivatives obtained exhibited micromolar affinity at GluK3 receptors with K i values in the range 0.1–4.4 μM range. The antagonistic properties of the selected analogues: N-(7-fluoro-6-iodo-2,3-dioxo-3,4-dihydroquinoxalin-1(2H)-yl)-3-sulfamoylbenzamide, N-(7-(1H-imidazol-1-yl)-6-iodo-2,3-dioxo-3,4-dihydroquinoxalin-1(2H)-yl)-3-sulfamoylbenzamide and N-(7-(1H-imidazol-1-yl)-2,3-dioxo-6-(phenylethynyl)-3,4-dihydroquinoxalin-1(2H)-yl)-3-sulfamoylbenzamide at GluK3 receptors, were confirmed by an intracellular calcium imaging assay. To correlate in vitro affinity data with structural features of the synthesized compounds and to understand the impact of the substituent in N1 position on ability to form additional protein-ligand interactions, molecular modeling and docking studies were carried out. Experimental solubility studies using UV spectroscopy detection have shown that 7-imidazolyl-6-iodo analogues with a sulfamoylbenzamide moiety at the N1 position are the best soluble compounds in the series, with molar solubility in TRISS buffer at pH 9 more than 3-fold higher compared to NBQX, a known AMPA/kainate antagonist.

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