Optimization of 2-Amino-4,6-diarylpyrimidine-5-carbonitriles as Potent and Selective A1 Antagonists

J Med Chem. 2022 Feb 10;65(3):2091-2106. doi: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.1c01636. Epub 2022 Jan 22.


We herein document a large collection of 108 2-amino-4,6-disubstituted-pyrimidine derivatives as potent, structurally simple, and highly selective A1AR ligands. The most attractive ligands were confirmed as antagonists of the canonical cyclic adenosine monophosphate pathway, and some pharmacokinetic parameters were preliminarilly evaluated. The library, built through a reliable and efficient three-component reaction, comprehensively explored the chemical space allowing the identification of the most prominent features of the structure-activity and structure-selectivity relationships around this scaffold. These included the influence on the selectivity profile of the aromatic residues at positions R4 and R6 of the pyrimidine core but most importantly the prominent role to the unprecedented A1AR selectivity profile exerted by the methyl group introduced at the exocyclic amino group. The structure-activity relationship trends on both A1 and A2AARs were conveniently interpreted with rigorous free energy perturbation simulations, which started from the receptor-driven docking model that guided the design of these series.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine A1 Receptor Antagonists / chemistry*
  • Adenosine A1 Receptor Antagonists / metabolism
  • Adenosine A1 Receptor Antagonists / pharmacokinetics
  • Binding Sites
  • Cell Line
  • Drug Design
  • Drug Stability
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Molecular Docking Simulation
  • Pyrimidines / chemistry*
  • Pyrimidines / metabolism
  • Pyrimidines / pharmacokinetics
  • Receptor, Adenosine A1 / chemistry
  • Receptor, Adenosine A1 / metabolism
  • Receptor, Adenosine A2A / chemistry
  • Receptor, Adenosine A2A / metabolism
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Adenosine A1 Receptor Antagonists
  • Pyrimidines
  • Receptor, Adenosine A1
  • Receptor, Adenosine A2A