Replacement of the hydrophobic part of 9-cis-retinoic acid with cyclic terpenoid moiety results in RXR-selective agonistic activity

Takashi Okitsu, Kana Sato, Kinya Iwatsuka, Natsumi Sawada, Kimie Nakagawa, Toshio Okano, Shoya Yamada, Hiroki Kakuta, Akimori Wada

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7 Citations (Scopus)


Retinoid X receptor (RXR) agonists are interesting candidates for the treatment of metabolic syndrome. 9-Cis-retinoic acid (9cRA: 1) is a natural RXR agonist, that also works as a retinoic acid receptor (RAR) agonist. This fact prompted us to study the structure-activity relationship (SAR) of RXR agonists derived from 1. Though 3 and 4, in which the cyclohexene part of 1 is replaced with bulkier hydrophobic moieties, show RXR-selective agonistic activity, some analogs containing other ring structures show RAR agonistic activity. Thus, we were interested in establishing what kind of ring skeleton is required for RXR-selective agonistic activity. In this study, we systematically prepared 5 and 6, in which the cyclohexene ring of 1 is replaced with various cyclic terpenoid moieties, and evaluated their RXR and RAR agonistic activities. Our previously reported CsF-promoted Stille coupling reaction was employed as a key step for the comprehensive synthesis of 5 and 6. The results of transcriptional assay showed that compounds 5b-f, which possess a menthane skeleton, exhibit RXR-selective agonistic activity. These results should be helpful for the design of superior RXR-selective agonists based on the structure of 1.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2939-2949
Number of pages11
JournalBioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2011



  • 9-cis-Retinoic acid
  • Agonist
  • RAR
  • Rexinoids
  • RXR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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