Investigations into the origin of the molecular recognition of several adenosine deaminase inhibitors

Irina Gillerman, Bilha Fischer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Inhibitors of adenosine deaminase (ADA, EC are potential therapeutic agents for the treatment of various health disorders. Several highly potent inhibitors were previously identified, yet they exhibit unacceptable toxicities. We performed a SAR study involving a series of C2 or C8 substituted purine-riboside analogues with a view to discover less potent inhibitors with a lesser toxicity. We found that any substitution at C8 position of nebularine resulted in total loss of activity toward calf intestinal ADA. However, several 2-substituted-adenosine, 8-aza-adenosine, and nebularine analogues exhibited inhibitory activity. Specifically, 2-Cl-purine riboside, 8-aza-2-thiohexyl adenosine, 2-thiohexyl adenosine, and 2-MeS-purine riboside were found to be competitive inhibitors of ADA with Ki values of 25, 22, 6, and 3 μM, respectively. We concluded that electronic parameters are not major recognition determinants of ADA but rather steric parameters. A C2 substituent which fits ADA hydrophobic pocket and improves H-bonding with the enzyme makes a good inhibitor. In addition, a gg rotamer about C4′-C5′ bond is apparently an important recognition determinant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-121
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - 13 Jan 2011


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