Journal article Open Access
Banister, Samuel D; Beinat, Corinne; Wilkinson, Shane M; Shen, Bin; Bartoli, Cecilia; Selleri, Silvia; Da Pozzo, Eleonora; Martini, Claudia; Chin, Frederick T; Kassiou, Michael
Sixteen new phenyl alkyl ether derivatives (12, 14-28) of the 5,7-dimethylpyrazolo[1,5-a]pyrimidin-3-ylacetamide (DPA) class were synthesized and evaluated in a competition binding assay against [3H]PK11195 using 18 kDa translocator protein (TSPO) derived from rat kidney mitochondrial fractions. All analogues showed superior binding affinities for TSPO compared to DPA-713 (5) and DPA-714 (6). Picomolar affinities were observed for this class of TSPO ligands in this assay for the first time, with phenethyl ether 28 showing the greatest affinity (Ki = 0.13 nM). Additionally, all analogues increased pregnenolone biosynthesis (134–331% above baseline) in a rat C6 glioma cell steroidogenesis assay.