Several σ1 receptor ligands with sub-nanomolar affinity and excellent selectivity have been reported, but relatively few σ2-selective ligands are known. 1-Cyclohexyl-4-[3-(5-methoxy-1,2,3,4-tetrahydronaphthalen-1-yl)propyl] piperazine (PB28; 1) has been reported by us as a high-affinity σ2 receptor ligand with significant σ2 selectivity, and several analogs of (1) now have been developed. Among these are the class of cyclohexylpiperazines that display a good compromise between affinity/activity and selectivity for σ2 receptors. Very little is currently known about the nature of σ2 receptors. In the absence of structure-based receptor information, we applied a comparative molecular field analysis (CoMFA) – a three-dimensional structure-activity relationship (3D-QSAR) method – to a set of cyclohexylpiperazine σ2 ligands to develop a predictive model that might provide information about the stereoelectronic nature of the receptor binding site. Two CoMFA models were generated from two different alignments: the first used an automated FlexS algorithm, and the second used a rationally-driven manual alignment. Significantly better predictivity was obtained with the manual alignment (TSET: q2 = 0.73, r2 = 0.95; PSET: r2 = 0.55/0.73) than from the automated alignment (TSET: q2 = 0.69, r2 = 0.98; PSET: r2 = 0.13/0.16). The resulting CoMFA maps account for observed structure-affinity relationships and suggest a possible anatomy for the σ2 receptor/cyclohexylpiperazine binding site.
Keywords: PB28, Cyclohexylpiperazines, Sigma () Receptors, Sigma-2 (2) Receptors, Structure-Activity Relationships (SAR), Structure-Affinity Relationships (SAFIR), 3D-QSAR, CoMFA, Sigma (σ) Receptors, Sigma-2 (σ2) Receptors
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