Bioorg Chem. 2021 Sep 15;116:105361. doi: 10.1016/j.bioorg.2021.105361. Online ahead of print.
The OPG/RANKL/RANK pathway is a promising target for the design of therapeutic agents used in the treatment of osteoporosis. E09241 with an N-methylpyridine-chlorofuranformamide structural skeleton was previously identified to decrease bone loss and thus protect against osteoporosis in ovariectomized rats through increasing osteoprotegerin (OPG) expression. In this study, 36 derivatives of E09241 (3a) were prepared. The synthesis, up-regulation of OPG activities, SAR (structure-activity relationship), and cytotoxicity of these compounds are presented. Compounds with good up-regulating OPG activities could inhibit RANKL (the receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappa B ligand)-induced osteoclastogenesis in RAW264.7 cells. Particularly, compounds 3c and 3i1 significantly reduced NFATc1 and MMP-9 protein expression through inhibition of the NF-κB and MAPK pathways in RANKL induced RAW264.7 cells. In addition, compounds 3c and 3v significantly promoted osteoblast differentiation in MC3T3-E1 cells in osteogenic medium, and compounds 3c, 3v, and 3i1 obviously increased OPG protein expression and secretion in MC3T3-E1 cells. Furthermore, the pharmacokinetic profiles, acute toxicity, and hERG K+ channel effects of compounds 3a, 3c, 3e, 3v, and 3i1 were investigated. Taken together, these results indicate that N-methylpyridine-chlorofuranformamide analog 3i1 could serve as a promising lead for the development of new agents for treating osteoporosis.