Eur J Med Chem 2012 Aug 22;54:324-42. Epub 2012 May 22.
Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Piramal Healthcare Limited, Goregaon (E), Mumbai 400 063, Maharashtra, India.
Diacylglycerol acyltransferase, DGAT1, is a promising target enzyme for obesity due to its involvement in the committed step of triglyceride biosynthesis. Amino biphenyl carboxylic acids, exemplified by compound 4, are known potent inhibitors of hDGAT1. However the high cLogP and poor solubility of these biphenyl analogs might tend to limit their development. We have synthesized and evaluated compounds containing 3-phenylisoxazole, 5-phenyloxazole, and 3-phenyl-1,2,4-oxadiazole biaryl units for their hDGAT1 inhibition. Our aim in synthesizing such heterocyclic analogs was to improve the cLogP and solubility of these molecules while retaining hDGAT1 potency. Several compounds within the 3-phenylisoxazole series exhibited potent hDGAT1 inhibition when evaluated using an in vitro enzymatic assay. Certain promising compounds were studied for their potential to reduce triglyceride levels using an in vivo fat tolerance test in mice and were also evaluated for any possible improvement to their solubility. Compound 40a (IC(50) = 64 nM) with an in vivo plasma triglyceride reduction of 90 percent, and a solubility of 0.43 mg/ml at pH 7.4 may serve as a new lead for developing newer anti-obesity agents.