Tetrahydroisoquinoline-derived urea and 2,5-diketopiperazine derivatives as selective antagonists of the transient receptor potential melastatin 8 (TRPM8) channel receptor and anti-prostate cancer agents

Tetrahydroisoquinoline derivatives containing embedded urea functions were identified as selective TRPM8 channel receptor antagonists. Structure activity relationships were investigated, with the following conclusions: (a) The urea function and the tetrahydroisoquinoline system are necessary for activity. (b) Bis(1-aryl-6,7dimethoxy-1,2,3,4-tetrahydroisoquinolyl)ureas are more active than compounds containing one tetrahydroisoquinoline ring and than an open phenetylamine ureide. (c) Trans compounds are more active than their cis isomers. (d) Aryl substituents are better than alkyls at the isoquinoline C-1 position. (e) Electron-withdrawing substituents lead to higher activities. The most potent compound is the 4-F derivative, with IC50 in the 10-8 M range and selectivities around 1000:1 for most other TRP receptors. Selected compounds were found to be active in reducing the growth of LNCaP prostate cancer cells. TRPM8 inhibition reduces proliferation in the tumor cells tested, but not in non-tumor prostate cells, suggesting that the activity against prostate cancer is linked to TRPM8 inhibition.

Journal of medicinal chemistry. 2016 May 27 [Epub ahead of print]

Luciano De Petrocellis, Francisco José Arroyo, Pierangelo Orlando, Aniello Schiano Moriello, Rosa Maria Vitale, Pietro Amodeo, Aránzazu Sánchez, Cesáreo Roncero, Giulia Bianchini, M Antonia Martín, Pilar López-Alvarado, J Carlos Menéndez