N-Methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors play critical roles in central nervous system function and are involved in variety of brain disorders. We previously developed a series of (R)-3-(5-furanyl)carboxamido-2-aminopropanoic acid glycine site agonists with pronounced variation in activity among NMDA receptor GluN1/2A-D subtypes. Here, a series of (R)-2-amino-3-triazolpropanoic acid analogues with a novel chemical scaffold is designed and their pharmacological properties are evaluated at NMDA receptor subtypes. We found that the triazole can function as a bioisostere for amide to produce glycine site agonists with variation in activity among NMDA receptor subtypes. Compounds 13g and 13i are full and partial agonists, respectively, at GluN1/2C and GluN1/2D with 3- to 7-fold preference in agonist potency for GluN1/2C-D over GluN1/2A-B subtypes. The agonist binding mode of these triazole analogues and the mechanisms by which the triazole ring can serve as a bioisostere for amide were further explored using molecular dynamics simulations. Thus, the novel (R)-2-amino-3-triazolpropanoic acid derivatives reveal insights to agonist binding at the GluN1 subunit of NMDA receptors and provide new opportunities for the design of glycine site agonists.
- ionotropic glutamate receptors
- ligand-gated ion channel
- subtype selectivity
- two-electrode voltage-clamp electrophysiology