On the optimization of hydrophobic and hydrophilic substituent interactions of 2,4-diamino-5-(substituted-benzyl)pyrimidines with dihydrofolate reductase

J Med Chem. 1991 Jan;34(1):46-54. doi: 10.1021/jm00105a008.


The inhibition constants (Kiapp) were obtained from the action of 68 2,4-diamino-5-(substituted-benzyl)pyrimidines on dihydrofolate reductase from an Escherichia coli strain MB 1428. Subsequently, these results were used to formulate appropriate quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSAR). Once again these equations emphasize the paramount importance of steric/dispersion factors in enhancing antibacterial potency. Hydrophobicity also plays a role, albeit a minor one. Comparisons with the QSAR obtained versus prokaryotic dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) demonstrate subtle differences in binding behavior between meta and para substituents which may be effectively maximized in the design of more efficacious and selective antibacterial agents. The bacterial and avian QSAR equations can be used to calculate selectivity indices for trimethoprim, tetroxoprim, and two other specially designed 2,4-diamino-5-(substituted-benzyl)pyrimidines.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Diamines / chemical synthesis*
  • Diamines / chemistry
  • Diamines / pharmacology
  • Escherichia coli / enzymology
  • Folic Acid Antagonists*
  • Kinetics
  • Lactobacillus casei / enzymology
  • Molecular Structure
  • Protein Binding
  • Pyrimidines / chemical synthesis*
  • Pyrimidines / chemistry
  • Pyrimidines / pharmacology
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Diamines
  • Folic Acid Antagonists
  • Pyrimidines