2,3-Disubstituted quinuclidines as a novel class of dopamine transporter inhibitors

Sukumar Sakamuri, Istvan J. Enyedy, Wahiduz A. Zaman, Srihari R. Tella, Alan P. Kozikowski, Judith L. Flippen-Anderson, Tivadar Farkas, Kenneth M. Johnson, Shaomeng Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


There is considerable interest in developing dopamine transporter (DAT) inhibitors as potential therapies for the treatment of cocaine abuse. We report herein our pharmacophore-based discovery and molecular modeling-assisted rational design of 2,3-disubstituted quinuclidines as potent DAT inhibitors with a novel chemical scaffold. Through 3-D-database pharmacophore searching, compound 12 was identified as a very weak DAT inhibitor with Ki values of 7.3 and 8.9 μM in [3H]mazindol binding and in inhibition of dopamine reuptake, respectively. Molecular modeling-assisted rational design and chemical modifications led to identification of potent analogues (-)-29 and 34 with Ki values of 14 and 32 nM for both compounds in binding affinity and inhibition of dopamine reuptake, respectively. Behavioral pharmacological evaluations in rodents showed that 34 has a profile very different from cocaine. While 34 is substantially more potent than cocaine as a DAT inhibitor, it is approximately four times less potent than cocaine in mimicking the discriminative stimulus properties of cocaine in rat. On the other hand, 34 (3-30 mg/kg) lacks either the locomotor stimulant or stereotypic properties of cocaine in mice. Importantly, 34 blocks locomotor stimulant activity induced by 20 mg/kg cocaine in mice, with an estimated ED50 of 19 mg/kg. Taken together, our data suggest that 34 represents a class of potent DAT inhibitors with a novel chemical scaffold and a behavioral pharmacological profile different from that of cocaine in rodents. Thus, 34 may serve as a novel lead compound in the ultimate development of therapeutic entities for cocaine abuse and/or addiction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1123-1136
Number of pages14
JournalBioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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