Citation: Kitson SL. Squaryl Molecular Metaphors – Application to Rational Drug Design and Imaging Agents. Journal of Diagnostic Imaging in Therapy. 2017; 4(1): 35-75. http://dx.doi.org/10.17229/jdit.2017-0503-029
Molecular Metaphors is the application of squaryl building blocks towards creative functional group chemistry to produce lead compounds and imaging agents. This strategy is applied to rational drug design and to various imaging agents that would normally contain conventional functional group chemistry. These, include carboxylic acids, α-amino acids, peptide bonds and phosphonates. Moreover, the squaryl metaphor is a precursor to complex organic molecules involving functional group interchange (FGI) and rearrangements. This article discusses the application of these metaphors in the area of neurochemistry, especially NMDA receptors. An important area of drug design is the inhibition of angiotensin II enzyme by the use of losartan. This commercial drug contains a tetrazole moiety that can be modified using the squaryl group to give a semisquarate derivative. These concepts can extend to the semisquarate of ibuprofen. Moreover, a discussion on peptidomimetics regarding the substitution of the peptide bond for squaramide allows for a change in the biological properties due to modification at the peptide bond. Furthermore, the topic on how squaryl metaphors can be exploited primarily by the central 1,3-hydroxyamide sequence to the generation of a novel class of HIV protease inhibitors. Also, squaryl metaphors can be used to develop potential inhibitors of glutathione and novel anti-migraine drugs. The discussion continues on the design of anticancer drugs: in particular, a novel class of metalloproteases, including phosphonates for semisquaramides, leading to squaryl nucleosides. This review concludes with the application of squaryl metaphors in the design of positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) agents towards theranostics.
Keywords: squaryl metaphors; bioisosteres; rational drug design; positron emission tomography imaging; magnetic resonance imaging