Discovery of Orally Available Prodrugs of the Glutamate Carboxypeptidase II (GCPII) Inhibitor 2-Phosphonomethylpentanedioic Acid (2-PMPA)

Pavel Majer, Andrej Jančařík, Marcela Krečmerová, Tomáš Tichý, Lukáš Tenora, Krystyna Wozniak, Ying Wu, Elie Pommier, Dana Ferraris, Rana Rais, Barbara S. Slusher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

2-Phosphonomethylpentanedioic acid (1, 2-PMPA) is a potent inhibitor of glutamate carboxypeptidase II which has demonstrated robust neuroprotective efficacy in many neurological disease models. However, 1 is highly polar containing a phosphonate and two carboxylates, severely limiting its oral bioavailability. We strategized to mask the polar groups via a prodrug approach, increasing the likelihood of passive oral absorption. Our initial strategy was to cover the phosphonate with hydrophobic moieties such as pivaloyloxymethyl (POM) and isopropyloxycarbonyloxymethyl (POC) while keeping the α- and γ-carboxylates unsubstituted. This attempt was unsuccessful due to the chemical instability of the bis-POC/POM derivatives. Addition of α,γ-diesters and α-monoesters enhanced chemical stability and provided excellent oral exposure in mice, but these mixed esters were too stable in vivo, resulting in minimal release of 1. By introducing POC groups on both the phosphonate and α-carboxylate, we synthesized Tris-POC-2-PMPA (21b), which afforded excellent release of 1 following oral administration in both mice and dog.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2810-2819
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of medicinal chemistry
Volume59
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 24 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Drug Discovery

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