A 3D QSAR pharmacophore model and quantum chemical structure-activity analysis of chloroquine(CQ)-resistance reversal

Apurba K. Bhattacharjee, Dennis E. Kyle, Jonathan L. Vennerstrom, Wilbur K. Milhous

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23 Scopus citations


Using CATALYST, a three-dimensional QSAR pharmacophore model for chloroquine(CQ)-resistance reversal was developed from a training set of 17 compounds. These included imipramine (1), desipramine (2), and 15 of their analogues (3-17), some of which fully reversed CQ-resistance, while others were without effect. The generated pharmacophore model indicates that two aromatic hydrophobic interaction sites on the tricyclic ring and a hydrogen bond acceptor (lipid) site at the side chain, preferably on a nitrogen atom, are necessary for potent activity. Stereoelectronic properties calculated by using AM1 semiempirical calculations were consistent with the model, particularly the electrostatic potential profiles characterized by a localized negative potential region by the side chain nitrogen atom and a large region covering the aromatic ring. The calculated data further revealed that aminoalkyl substitution at the N5-position of the heterocycle and a secondary or tertiary aliphatic aminoalkyl nitrogen atom with a two or three carbon bridge to the heteroaromatic nitrogen (N5) are required for potent "resistance reversal activity". Lowest energy conformers for 1-17 were determined and optimized to afford stereoelectronic properties such as molecular orbital energies, electrostatic potentials, atomic charges, proton affinities, octanol-water partition coefficients (log P), and structural parameters. For 1-17, fairly good correlation exists between resistance reversal activity and intrinsic basicity of the nitrogen atom at the tricyclic ring system, frontier orbital energies, and lipophilicity. Significantly, nine out of 11 of a group of structurally diverse CQ-resistance reversal agents mapped very well on the 3D QSAR pharmacophore model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1212-1220
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Chemical Information and Computer Sciences
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


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