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By the use of molecular models of Escherichia coli dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR), analogues of trimethoprim (TMP) were designed which incorporated various 3'-carboxyalkoxy moieties in order to acquire ionic interactions with positively charged active-site residues. Certain of these compounds have shown exceptionally high affinity for this enzyme. For example, the 3'-(carboxypentyl)oxy analogue was found to be 55-fold more inhibitory than TMP toward E. coli DHFR (Ki = 0.024 nM vs. 1.32 nM for TMP). X-ray crystallographic studies of E. coli DHFR in binary complexes with TMP and two members of this acid-containing series of compounds defined the binding of these inhibitors and showed the carboxyl group of the latter two inhibitors to be ionically bound to Arg-57. These observations were in agreement with postulated binding modes that were based on receptor modeling.


Journal article


J Med Chem

Publication Date





303 - 311


Binding Sites, Folic Acid Antagonists, Kinetics, Methotrexate, Microbial Sensitivity Tests, Models, Molecular, Protein Conformation, Structure-Activity Relationship, Trimethoprim, X-Ray Diffraction