The synthesis of bivalent 2β-carbomethoxy-3β-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)-8-heterobicyclo[3.2.1]octanes as probes for proximal binding sites on the dopamine and serotonin transporters

Peter C. Meltzer, Olga Kryatova, Duy Phong Pham-Huu, Patrick Donovan, Aaron Janowsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations


3-Aryltropanes have been widely explored for potential medications for remediation of cocaine abuse. Research has focused predominantly on 8-azatropanes and it is now well recognized that these compounds can be designed to manifest varied selectivity and potency for inhibition of the dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine uptake systems. We had reported that the 8-nitrogen atom present in the 3-aryltropanes is not essential for tropanes to bind to monoamine uptake systems. We demonstrated that compounds in which the amine had been exchanged for an ether or a thioether retained binding potency and selectivity. We have now designed bivalent compounds in which two tropane moieties are linked by an intervening chain. These 8-homo- and 8-heterotropane bivalent compounds allowed a search for adjacent tropane binding sites on the DAT as well as a further exploration of whether the binding sites for 8-azatropanes are the same as those for other 8-heterotropanes. A comparison of these compounds with their progenitor tropanes cast into doubt the existence of proximal binding sites on the DAT, and offered support for the existence of different binding sites for the 8-azatropanes compared with 8-oxa- and 8-thiatropanes. Indeed, 8-aza bivalent tropanes inhibited DAT with potency about 10-fold lower (DAT: IC50 = 31 nM) than their monovalent counterparts. Furthermore, bivalent ligands in which one or both of the tropanes was devoid of an amine suffered a further loss of inhibitory potency. We conclude that it is unlikely that there exist two tropane binding sites in close proximity to one another on either the DAT or SERT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1832-1841
Number of pages10
JournalBioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Feb 15 2008
Externally publishedYes



  • Bivalent ligands
  • Cocaine medications
  • Monoamine transporter ligands

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Drug Discovery
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Medicine(all)

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