Inspired by the excellent pharmacokinetic profile of transplantation drug, cyclosporine A (a natural, N-methylated cyclic peptide) which can be administered orally, Kessler( Angew. Chem. Int. Ed 2008, 47, 2595.) reported that multiple N-methylation is a promising way to rationally improve key pharmacokinetic characteristics in peptides.
N-methyl scan of the cyclopeptidic somatostatin analog cyclo(-PFwKTF-), known as the Veber−Hirschmann peptide, not only improve oral bio availability but also the receptor selectivity.
Another interesting question is to what extent might the N methylation contribute to the bioavilability (the ADMET profile) in amide of small molecules rather than peptides ?
For example, Tubulin-binding taxanes such as paclitaxel and docetaxel are important cancer chemotherapeutic agents. However, these drugs suffer from limitations such as poor aqueous solubility and oral bioavailability, emerging drug resistance, and the lack of blood-brain barrier permeability.
N-methyltaxol C (methylation of the C3′ amide of taxol C ) a potential impurity in clinically used taxanes showed improved bioavailability.
This result demonstrates the utility of N-methylation to improve key pharmacokinetic characteristics in amides.