Optically active helicene derivatives inhibit the activity on histamine N-methyl transferase (HNMT). Specifically, methyl (P)-1,12-dimethylbenzo[c]phenanthrene-8-carboxylate with 6-iodo and 5-trifluoromethanesulfonyloxy groups inhibits HNMT activity on the μM order of IC 50 . Chirality is important, and (M)-isomers exhibits substantially reduced activity. The 6-iodo group is also essential, which suggests the involvement of halogen bonds in protein binding. Substituents on the sulfonate moiety also affect the inhibitory activity.
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