Toll-like receptor (TLR)-8 agonists strongly induce the production of T helper 1-polarizing cytokines and may therefore serve as promising candidate vaccine adjuvants, especially for the very young and the elderly. Earlier structure-based ligand design led to the identification of 3-pentyl-quinoline-2-amine as a novel, human TLR8-specific agonist. Comprehensive structure-activity relationships in ring-contracted 1-alkyl-1H-benzimidazol-2-amines were undertaken, and the best-in-class compound, 4-methyl-1-pentyl-1H-benzo[d]imidazol-2-amine, was found to be a pure TLR8 agonist, evoking strong proinflammatory cytokine and Type II interferon responses in human PBMCs, with no attendant CD69 upregulation in natural lymphocytic subsets. The 1-alkyl-1H-benzimidazol-2-amines represent a novel, alternate chemotype with pure TLR8-agonistic activities and will likely prove useful not only in understanding TLR8 signaling but also perhaps as a candidate vaccine adjuvant.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2014 American Chemical Society.