Dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPP-IV) inhibitors are expected to become a new type of antidiabetic drugs. Most known DPP-IV inhibitors often resemble the dipeptide cleavage products, with a proline mimic at the P1 site. As off-target inhibitions of DPP8 and/or DPP9 have shown profound toxicities in the in vivo studies, it is important to develop selective DPP-IV inhibitors for clinical usage. To achieve this, a new class of 2-[3-[[2-[(2S)-2-cyano-1-pyrrolidinyl]-2- oxoethyl]amino]-1-oxopropyl]-based DPP-IV inhibitors was synthesized. SAR studies resulted in a number of DPP-IV inhibitors, having IC50 values of <50 nM with excellent selectivity over both DPP8 (IC50 > 100 μM) and DPP-II (IC50 > 30 μM). Compound 21a suppressed the blood glucose elevation after an oral glucose challenge in Wistar rats and also inhibited plasma DPP-IV activity for up to 4 h in BALB/c mice. The results show that compound 21a possesses in vitro and in vivo activities comparable to those of NVP-LAF237 (4), which is in clinical development.
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