Pyrimidinyl Biphenylureas: Identification of New Lead Compounds as Allosteric Modulators of the Cannabinoid Receptor CB1. Academic Article uri icon


  • The allosteric modulator 1-(4-chlorophenyl)-3-(3-(6-(pyrrolidin-1-yl)pyridin-2-yl)phenyl)urea (PSNCBAM-1, 2) bound the cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) and antagonized G protein coupling. This compound demonstrated potent anorectic effects similar to the CB1 antagonist rimonabant that once was marketed for the treatment of obesity, suggesting a new chemical entity for the discovery of antiobesity drugs. To increase structural diversity of this class of CB1 ligands, we designed and synthesized two classes of novel analogues, in which the pyridine ring of 2 was replaced by a pyrimidine ring. These positively modulate the binding of the CB1 orthosteric agonist CP55,940 while exhibiting an antagonism of G-protein coupling activity. Interestingly, compounds 7d and 8d demonstrated ERK1/2 phosphorylation mediated via -arrestin unlike the orthosteric CP55,940 that does so in a G protein-dependent manner. These can serve as new lead compounds for the future development of CB1 allosteric modulators that show biased agonism and potentially antiobesity behavior via a new mechanism.

published proceedings

  • J Med Chem

author list (cited authors)

  • Khurana, L., Fu, B., Duddupudi, A. L., Liao, Y., Immadi, S. S., Kendall, D. A., & Lu, D.

citation count

  • 30

complete list of authors

  • Khurana, Leepakshi||Fu, Bo-Qiao||Duddupudi, Anantha L||Liao, Yu-Hsien||Immadi, Sri Sujana||Kendall, Debra A||Lu, Dai

publication date

  • February 2017