Microwave-assisted Synthesis and Docking Studies of Phenylureas as Candidates for the Drug Design Against the Biological Warfare Agent Yersinia Pestis

Author(s): Tanos Celmar Costa França*, Leonardo da Costa Bastos, Teobaldo Cuya, Mehdi Sirouspour, Franklin Chacón-Huete, David Bendahan, Pat Forgione*

Journal Name: Letters in Drug Design & Discovery

Volume 17 , Issue 5 , 2020

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Graphical Abstract:


Background: Bubonic plague is amongst the diseases with the highest potential for being used in biological warfare attacks today. This disease, caused by the bacterium Yersina pestis, is highly infectious and can achieve 100% of fatal victims when in its most dangerous form. Besides, there is no effective vaccine, and the chemotherapy available today against plague is ineffective if not administered at the beginning of the infection.

Objective: Willing to contribute for changing this reality we propose here new phenylureas as candidates for the drug design against plague meant to target the enzyme dihydrofolate reductase from Y. pestis (YpDHFR).

Methods: Seven phenylureas, four of them new, were synthesized, following synthetic routes adapted from procedures available in the literature, and using microwave irradiation. After, they were submitted to docking studies inside YpDHFR and human DHFR (HssDHFR) in order to check their potential as selective inhibitors.

Results: Our results revealed four new phenylureas and a new synthetic route for this kind of molecule using microwave irradiation. Also, our docking studies showed that these compounds are capable of binding to both HssDHFR and YpDHFR, with U1 - U4 and U23 showing more selectivity for HssDHFR and U7, U8 being more selective towards YpDHFR.

Conclusion: We reported the synthesis with good yields of seven phenylureas, following a simple and clean alternative synthetic route using microwave irradiation. Further molecular docking studies of our compounds suggested that two are capable of binding more selectivity to YpDHFR, qualifying as potential candidates for the drug design of new drugs against plague.

Keywords: Plague, Yersinia pestis, phenylureas, docking, YpDHFR, human DHFR.

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Article Details

Year: 2020
Published on: 18 May, 2020
Page: [633 - 639]
Pages: 7
DOI: 10.2174/1570180816666190710144212

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