ACS Med Chem Lett 12 (6) 983-990 [2021-06-10; online 2021-05-18]
Conformation-dependent 3D descriptors have been shown to provide better predictions of the physicochemical properties of macrocycles than 2D descriptors. However, the computational identification of relevant conformations for macrocycles is nontrivial. Herein, we report that the Caco-2 cell permeability difference between a pair of diastereomeric macrocycles correlated with their solvent accessible 3D polar surface area and radius of gyration. The descriptors were calculated from the macrocycles' solution-phase conformational ensembles and independently from ensembles obtained by conformational sampling. Calculation of the two descriptors for three other stereo- and regioisomeric macrocycles also allowed the correct ranking of their cell permeability. Methods for conformational sampling may thus allow ranking of passive permeability for moderately flexible macrocycles, thereby contributing to the prioritization of macrocycles for synthesis in lead optimization.