Structural modifications of (1S,3S)-3-amino-4-difluoromethylenecyclopentanecarboxylic acid, a potent irreversible inhibitor of GABA aminotransferase

Hai Yuan, Richard B. Silverman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Low brain levels of the inhibitory neurotransmitter γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) lead to convulsions. Inhibition of GABA aminotransferase increases the concentration of GABA and can terminate the convulsions. Earlier we reported the synthesis of (1S,3S)-3-amino-4-difluoromethylenecyclopentanecarboxylic acid (2), which is 186 times more potent an inactivator of GABA aminotransferase than the epilepsy drug S-vigabatrin. The corresponding dichloromethylene analogue of 2 (compound 3) has been made, but it shows only weak reversible inhibition of GABA aminotransferase. However, the tetrazole isostere of 2 (compound 4) has been found to be a time-dependent inactivator of GABA aminotransferase. Although it is 20 times less potent than carboxylic acid 2, it is 2.5 times more potent than S-vigabatrin. A calculation of the Clog P values indicates that 4 is the most lipophilic of the three, being 69 times more lipophilic than 2 and 55 times more lipophilic than S-vigabatrin, indicating potential for improved bioavailability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1651-1654
Number of pages4
JournalBioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 15 2007


  • Enzyme inactivator
  • GABA
  • GABA aminotransferase
  • Lipophilicity
  • Tetrazole isostere
  • γ-Aminobutyric acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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