3-D QSAR analysis of inhibition of murine soluble epoxide hydrolase (MsEH) by benzoylureas, arylureas, and their analogues

Yoshiaki Nakagawa, Craig E. Wheelock, Christophe Morisseau, Marvin H. Goodrow, Bruce G. Hammock, Bruce D. Hammock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Two hundred and seventy-one compounds including benzoylureas, arylureas and related compounds were assayed using recombinant murine soluble epoxide hydrolase (MsEH) produced from a baculovirus expression system. Among all the insect growth regulators assayed, 18 benzoylphenylurea congeners showed weak activity against MsEH. Newly synthesized cyclohexylphenylurea, 1-benzyl-3-phenylurea, and 1,3-dibenzylurea analogues were rather potent. The introduction of a methyl group at the para-position of the phenyl ring of cyclohexylphenylurea enhanced the activity 6-fold, though similar substituent effects were not seen for any of the benzoylphenylureas. The activities of these compounds, including several previously reported compounds, such as dicyclohexylurea, diphenylurea, and their related analogues (Morisseau et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 1999, 96, 8849), were quantitatively analyzed using comparative molecular field analysis (CoMFA), a three-dimensional quantitative structure-activity relationship (3-D QSAR) method. Both steric and electrostatic factors contributing to variations in the activity were visualized using CoMFA. CoMFA results showed that one side of the cyclohexylurea moiety having a trans-amide conformation (A-ring moiety) is surrounded by large sterically unfavorable fields, while the other side of A-ring moiety and the other cyclohexyl group (B-ring moiety) is encompassed by sterically favored fields. Electrostatically negative fields were scattered around the entire molecule, and a positive field surrounds the carbon of the carbonyl group. Hydrophobic fields were visualized using Kellogg's hydropathic interaction (HINT) in conjunction with CoMFA. Hydrophobically favorable fields appeared beside the 4- and 4'-carbon atoms of the cyclohexyl groups, and hydrophobically unfavorable fields surrounded the urea bridge. The addition of the molecular hydrophobicity, it> /it>, to CoMFA did not improve the correlation significantly. The ligand-binding interactions shown by X-ray crystallographic data were rationalized using the results of the CoMFA and HINT analyses, and the essential physicochemical parameters for the design of new MsEH inhibitors were disclosed. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2663-2673
Number of pages11
JournalBioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Drug Discovery
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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