Synthesis and biological evaluation of nonclassical 2,4-diamino-5- methylpyrido[2,3-d]pyrimidines with novel side chain substituents as potential inhibitors of dihydrofolate reductases

Aleem Gangjee, Anil Vasudevan, Sherry F. Queener

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Nine novel 2,4-diamino-5-methyl-6-substituted-pyrido[2,3-d]pyrimidines, 2-10, were synthesized as potential inhibitors of Pneumocystis carinii dihydrofolate reductase (pcDHFR) and Toxoplasma gondii dihydrofolate reductase (tgDHFR). Compounds 2-5 were designed as conformationally restricted analogues of trimetrexate (TMQ), in which rotation around τ3 was constrained by incorporation of the side chain nitrogen as part of an indoline or an indole ring. Analogue 6, which has an extra atom between the side chain nitrogen and the phenyl ring, has its nitrogen as part of a tetrahydroisoquinoline ring. Analogues 7-9 are epiroprim (Ro 11-8958) analogues and contain a pyrrole ring as part of the side chain substitution on the phenyl ring similar to epiroprim. These analogues were designed to investigate the role of the pyrrole substitution on the phenyl ring of 2,4- diamino-5-methyl-6-(anilinomethyl)pyrido[2,3-d]pyrimidines. Molecular modeling indicated that a pyrrole substituent in the ortho position of the side chain phenyl ring was most likely to interact with pcDHFR in a manner similar to the pyrrole moiety of epiroprim. Analogue 10, in which a phenyl ring replaced a methoxy group, was synthesized to determine the contribution of a phenyl ring on selectivity, lipophilicity, and cell penetration. The synthesis of analogues 2-4 was achieved via reductive amination of 2,4- diamino-5-methyl 6-carboxaldehyde with the appropriately substituted indolines. The indolines were obtained from the corresponding indoles via NaCNBH3 reductions. Analogues 5-10 were synthesized by nucleophilic displacement of 2,4-diamino-5-methyl-6-(bromemethyl)-pyrido[2,3-d]pyrimidine with the 5-methoxyindolyl anion, 6,7-dimethoxytetrahydroisoquinoline, the appropriately substituted pyrroloaniline or 2-methoxy-5-phenylaniline. The pyrroloanilines were synthesized in two steps by treating the substituted nitroanilines with 2,5-dimethoxy-tetrahydrofuran to afford the nitropyrrole intermediates, followed by reduction of the nitro group with Raney Ni. The analogues were more potent than trimethoprim and epiroprim and more selective than TMQ and piritrexim against pcDHFR and tgDHFR. Compounds 5 and 10 had IC50 values of 1 and 0.64 μM, respectively, for the inhibition of the growth of T. gondii cells in culture, and showed excellent culture IC50/enzyme IC50 ratios, which were correlated with their calculated log P values, indicating a direct relationship between calculated lipephilicity and cell penetration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)479-485
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 14 1997


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Drug Discovery

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