Estrogen pyrazoles: defining the pyrazole core structure and the orientation of substituents in the ligand binding pocket of the estrogen receptor

Bioorg Med Chem. 2001 Jan;9(1):141-50. doi: 10.1016/s0968-0896(00)00228-5.


Previously, we reported that certain tetrasubstituted 1,3,5-triaryl-4-alkyl-pyrazoles bind to the estrogen receptor (ER) with high affinity (Fink, B. E.; Mortenson, D. S.; Stauffer, S. R.; Aron, Z. D.; Katzenellenbogen, J. A. Chem. Biol. 1999, 6, 205-219; Stauffer, S. R.; Katzenellenbogen, J. A. J. Comb/. Chem. 2000, 2. 318 329; Stauffer, S. R.: Coletta, C. J.: Sun, J.; Tedesco, R., Katzenellenbogen, B. S.; Katzenellenbogen, J. A. J. Med. Chem. 2000, submitted). To investigate how cyclic permutation of the two nitrogen atoms of a pyrazole might affect ER binding affinity, we prepared a new pyrazole core isomer, namely a 1,3,4-triaryl-5-alkyl-pyrazole (2), to compare it with our original pyrazole (1). We also prepared several peripherally matched core pyrazole isomer sets to investigate whether the two pyrazole series share a common binding orientation. Our efficient, regioselective synthetic route to these pyrazoles relies on the acylation of a hydrazone anion, followed by cyclization, halogenation, and Suzuki coupling. We found that the ER accommodates 1,3,4-triaryl-pyrazoles of the isomeric series only somewhat less well than the original 1,3,5-triaryl series, and it appears that both series share a common binding mode. This preferred orientation for the 1,3,5-triaryl-4-alkyl-pyrazoles is supported by binding affinity measurements of analogues in which the phenolic hydroxyl groups were systematically removed from each of the three aryl groups, and the orientation is consistent, as well, with molecular modeling studies. These studies provide additional insight into the design of heterocyclic core structures for the development of high affinity ER ligands by combinatorial methods.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Binding Sites
  • Binding, Competitive
  • Estrogens / chemistry*
  • Isomerism
  • Ligands
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Models, Molecular
  • Pyrazoles / chemical synthesis*
  • Radioligand Assay
  • Receptors, Estrogen / chemistry
  • Receptors, Estrogen / drug effects*
  • Sheep


  • Estrogens
  • Ligands
  • Pyrazoles
  • Receptors, Estrogen