Homobivalent ligands of the atypical antipsychotic clozapine: Design, synthesis, and pharmacological evaluation

Fiona Michelle McRobb, Ian Travers Crosby, Elizabeth Yuriev, Jonathan Robert David Lane, Benvenuto Capuano

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36 Citations (Scopus)


To date all typical and atypical antipsychotics target the dopamine D-2 receptor. Clozapine represents the best-characterized atypical antipsychotic, although it displays only moderate (submicromolar) affinity for the dopamine D-2 receptor. Herein, we present the design, synthesis, and pharmacological evaluation of three series of homobivalent ligands of clozapine, differing in the length and nature of the spacer and the point of attachment to the pharmacophore. Attachment of the spacer at the N4 position of clozapine yielded a series of homobivalent ligands that displayed spacer-length-dependent gains in affinity and activity for the dopamine D-2 receptor. The 16 and 18 atom spacer bivalent ligands were the highlight compounds, displaying marked low nanomolar receptor binding affinity (1.41 and 1.35 nM, respectively) and functional activity (23 and 44 nM), which correspond to significant gains in affinity (75- and 79-fold) and activity (9- and 5-fold) relative to the original pharmacophore, clozapine. As such these ligands represent useful tools with which to investigate dopamine receptor dimerization and the atypical nature of clozapine.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1622 - 1634
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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