1998 Volume 21 Issue 4 Pages 356-359
The structural and electronic properties of seventeen alkylxanthine derivatives were calculated using the MO program PM3 to elucidate the key features related to their inhibitory activity on phosphodiesterase (PDE) IV isoenzyme. Except for 7-alkylxanthine derivatives, a good correlation could be established between the distance between the tops of the two alkyl groups at the N1 and N3 positions of the xanthine skeleton (molecular length) and the PDE IV inhibitory activity (r=0.973, n=13). The same inhibitory activity could also be significantly correlated with the following electronic parameters of alkylxanthines : HOMO energy (r=0.850), absolute hardness (r=-0.806), and absolute electronegativity (r=-0.825). These results suggest that the electronic properties are partly responsible for PDE IV inhibition as far as the effects of structural properties associated with molecular length are concerned. Alkylxanthines may also act as electron donors in the charge-transfer interaction with the active sites on PDE IV isoenzyme.