The hybridization of hits, identified by complementary fragment and high throughput screens, enabled the discovery of the first series of potent inhibitors of mitochondrial branched-chain aminotransferase (BCATm) based on a 2-benzylamino-pyrazolo[1,5-a]pyrimidinone-3-carbonitrile template. Structure-guided growth enabled rapid optimization of potency with maintenance of ligand efficiency, while the focus on physicochemical properties delivered compounds with excellent pharmacokinetic exposure that enabled a proof of concept experiment in mice. Oral administration of 2-((4-chloro-2,6-difluorobenzyl)amino)-7-oxo-5-propyl-4,7-dihydropyrazolo[1,5-a]pyrimidine-3-carbonitrile 61 significantly raised the circulating levels of the branched-chain amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine in this acute study.
- branched-chain aminotransferases
- amino acids