Design, synthesis, and activity of 2-imidazol-1-ylpyrimidine derived inducible nitric oxide synthase dimerization inhibitors

J Med Chem. 2007 Mar 22;50(6):1146-57. doi: 10.1021/jm061319i. Epub 2007 Feb 23.


By the screening of a combinatorial library for inhibitors of nitric oxide (NO) formation by the inducible isoform of nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) using a whole-cell assay, 2-(imidazol-1-yl)pyrimidines were identified. Compounds were found to inhibit the dimerization of iNOS monomers, thus preventing the formation of the dimeric, active form of the enzyme. Optimization led to the selection of the potent, selective, and orally available iNOS dimerization inhibitor, 21b, which significantly ameliorated adjuvant-induced arthritis in a rat model. Analysis of the crystal structure of the 21b--iNOS monomer complex provided a rationalization for both the SAR and the mechanism by which 21b blocks the formation of the protein--protein interaction present in the dimeric form of iNOS.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / chemical synthesis*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / chemistry
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / pharmacology
  • Arthritis, Experimental / therapy
  • Benzodioxoles / chemical synthesis*
  • Benzodioxoles / chemistry
  • Benzodioxoles / pharmacology
  • Cell Line
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Crystallography, X-Ray
  • Dimerization
  • Imidazoles / chemical synthesis*
  • Imidazoles / chemistry
  • Imidazoles / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Models, Molecular
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II / metabolism*
  • Pyrimidines / chemical synthesis*
  • Pyrimidines / chemistry
  • Pyrimidines / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Lew


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Benzodioxoles
  • Imidazoles
  • N-(2-(1,3-benzodioxol-5-yl)ethyl)-1-(2-(1H-imidazol-1-yl)-6-methyl-4-pyrimidinyl)-2-pyrrolidinecarboxamide
  • Pyrimidines
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II