Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Suazette Mooring

Second Advisor

Markus Germann

Third Advisor

Maged Henary


CXCR4 is a chemokine receptor that has been linked to several disease related pathways including: HIV-1 proliferation, autoimmune disorders, inflammatory disease and cancer metastasis. The interaction of the C-X-C chemokine receptor type 4 (CXCR4) with C-X-C chemokine ligand 12 (CXCL12) plays a key role in triggering these disease related pathways. Various antagonists for these receptors have been synthesized and tested, but many are not useful clinically either because of toxicity or poor pharmacokinetics. Some of the most extensive CXCR4 antagonist libraries stem from a class of compounds, p-xylyl-enediamines, which all feature a benzene ring as the core of the compound. This work focuses on the design and synthesis of a new class of compounds that show potential as CXCR4 antagonists by using heterocyclic aromatic rings (2,6-pyridine, 2,5-furan, 2,5-pyrazine and 3,4-thiophene) as the core of the scaffold. After synthesis, these analogues were probed through a variety of assays and techniques by our collaborators in the Shim lab at Emory University including: preliminary binding assays, Matrigel invasion assays, carrageenan mouse paw edema tests, and in silico analysis. In silico analysis also probed 2,5-thiophene-based analogues previously synthesized. This work has produced the beginnings of a new library of CXCR4 antagonists and has identified fifteen hit compounds that are promising leads for further testing and modification.