Chemical synthesis, in vitro acetohydroxyacid synthase (AHAS) inhibition, herbicidal activity, and computational studies of isatin derivatives.J Agric Food Chem. 2011 Sep 28; 59(18):9892-900.JA
Acetohydroxyacid synthase (AHAS) catalyzes the first common step in the biosynthesis of the branched-chain amino acids. As a result of its metabolic importance in plants, it is a target for many commercial herbicides. Virtual screening analysis inspired the evaluation of 19 commercially available isatin analogues and 13 newly synthesized isatin derivatives as novel AHAS inhibitors and for their herbicidal activity. The best compound demonstrated 95% inhibition of the activity of Arabidopsis thaliana AHAS at a concentration of 100 mg L(-1), whereas the herbicidal activities of three compounds reached 50% inhibition at a concentration of 10 mg L(-1) using the rape root growth test. CoMFA contour models were established to understand the structure-activity relationships for this class of AHAS inhibitor. The compounds were docked to the active site cavity of A. thaliana AHAS using FlexX, and the dominant binding mode was consistent with frontier molecular orbital from DFT calculations. This is the first comprehensive study of isatin derivatives as AHAS inhibitors and provides a valuable starting point for the design of new herbicides.