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3-Aminoazetidin-2-one derivatives as N-acylethanolamine acid amidase (NAAA) inhibitors suitable for systemic administration.


N-Acylethanolamine acid amidase (NAAA) is a cysteine hydrolase that catalyzes the hydrolysis of endogenous lipid mediators such as palmitoylethanolamide (PEA). PEA has been shown to exert anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive effects in animals by engaging peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (PPAR-α). Thus, preventing PEA degradation by inhibiting NAAA may provide a novel approach for the treatment of pain and inflammatory states. Recently, 3-aminooxetan-2-one compounds were identified as a class of highly potent NAAA inhibitors. The utility of these compounds is limited, however, by their low chemical and plasma stabilities. In the present study, we synthesized and tested a series of N-(2-oxoazetidin-3-yl)amides as a novel class of NAAA inhibitors with good potency and improved physicochemical properties, suitable for systemic administration. Moreover, we elucidated the main structural features of 3-aminoazetidin-2-one derivatives that are critical for NAAA inhibition.

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