ATP-sensitive potassium (KATP) channels have important functions through their coupling of cellular energetic networks and their ability to decode metabolic signals, and they are implicated in diseases of many organs. KATP channels are formed by the physical association between the inwardly rectifier potassium channels (Kir6.x) and the regulatory sulfonylurea receptor subunit (SUR), which form a hetero-octameric complex. Different subtypes of KATP channels exist in various tissues. KATP channel openers (KCOs) are classified into nine chemical families according to their molecular structures: (1) benzopyrans, (2) cyanoguanidines, (3) thioformamides, (4) pyrimidine derivatives, (5) pyridine derivatives, (6) benzothiadiazines, (7) dihydropyridines, (8) nicotinamide derivatives, and (9) aliphatic amines. Although the model also predicts that KCOs have four co-binding areas, it was hypothesized that the main contribution lies in the binding domain of hydrophobicity of the side chain. A series of compounds containing the skeleton of the aliphatic secondary amines as a side chain was designed. It was found that N-isopropyl 2,3-dimethyl-2- butylamine (iptakalim, 91) is a novel KCOs. Iptakalim regulates the pore selectively of the inwardly rectifier potassium channel and dilates smaller arteries, but has little effect on vasodilatation of the aorta. Iptakalim administered p.o. has selective and long-lasting antihypertensive effects in hypertensive animals and does not induce tolerance, but has little effect on blood pressure in normotensive animals. Meanwhile, it also reverses cardiovascular remodeling and protects the brain and kidney against damage caused by hypertension in animal models. Iptakalim is in phase II clinical trials now and has a promising future as a treatment for hypertension.
Beijing Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, 27 Taiping Road, Beijing, 100850, Peoples'Republic of China.
Publication date: January 1, 2007
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