Discovery, Synthesis, and In Vitro Characterization of 2,3 Derivatives of 4,5,6,7-Tetrahydro-Benzothiophene as Potent Modulators of Retinoic Acid Receptor-Related Orphan Receptor gammat
J. Med. Chem. 2023, 66, 11, 7355–7373
Retinoic acid receptor-related orphan receptor γt (RORγt) is a nuclear receptor that is expressed in a variety of tissues and is a potential drug target for the treatment of inflammatory and auto-immune diseases, metabolic diseases, and resistant cancer types. We herein report the discovery of 2,3 derivatives of 4,5,6,7-tetrahydro-benzothiophene modulators of RORγt. We also report the solubility in acidic/neutral pH, mouse/human/dog/rat microsomal stability, Caco-2, and MDR1-MDCKII permeabilities of a set of these derivatives. For this group of modulators, inverse agonism by steric clashes and push–pull mechanisms induce greater instability to protein conformation compared to agonist lock hydration. Independent of the two mechanisms, we observed a basal modulatory activity of the tested 2,3 derivatives of 4,5,6,7-tetrahydro-benzothiophene toward RORγt due to the interactions with the Cys320-Glu326 and Arg364-Phe377 hydrophilic regions. The drug discovery approach reported in the current study can be employed to discover modulators of nuclear receptors and other globular protein targets.