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(R,E)-N-(3-(2-acetamido-3-(benzyloxy) propanamido)propyl)-2-cyano-3-(4-hydroxy phenyl)acrylamide (hr5F) was design-synthesized based on bioactivity focus strategy as a potential agent to treat diabetic complicates. With in vitro enzyme assay, it is confirmed that hr5F is an effective ALR2 inhibitor with IC50 value of 2.60 ± 0.15 nM, and selectivity index of 86.0 over ALR1, which is a little bit better than the reference Epalrestat (Epa). hr5F inhibits the increase of ALR2 enzyme activity and expression in human lens epithelial cells (HLECs) induced by high glucose. By applying western blot, it was found that hr5F alleviates the high glucose-induced superoxide overproduction insults by regulating SIRT1-PGC-1α/Nrf2 pathway, together with regulating NRF-1, mtTFA, Bax/Bcl-2 to ameliorate cell apoptosis. The in vivo effects of hr5F on short term streptozocin (STZ)-induced diabetic mice confirm the same functions disclosed in vitro. All the evidences support that hr5F may serve as a promising agent in the treatment of diabetic complications with close efficacy and broader indication than the reference Epa.