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Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Medicinal chemistry

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European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry


The management of blood glucose levels and the avoidance of diabetic hyperglycemia are common objectives of many therapies in the treatment of diabetes. An aryl piperazine compound 3a (RTC1) has been described as a promoter of glucose uptake, in part through a cellular mechanism that involves inhibition of NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase. We report herein the synthesis of 41 derivatives of 3a (RTC1) and a systematic structure-activity-relationship study where a number of compounds were shown to effectively stimulate glucose uptake in vitro and inhibit NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase. The hit compound 3a (RTC1) remained the most efficacious with a 2.57 fold increase in glucose uptake compared to vehicle control and micromolar inhibition of NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase (IC50 = 27 μM). In vitro DMPK and in vivo PK studies are also described, where results suggest that 3a (RTC1) would not be expected to provoke adverse drug-drug interactions, yet be readily metabolised, avoid rapid excretion, with a short half-life, and have good tissue distribution. The overall results indicate that aryl piperazines, and 3a (RTC1) in particular, have potential as effective agents for the treatment of diabetes.