Design, synthesis, and biological evaluation of coumarin derivatives tethered to an edrophonium-like fragment as highly potent and selective dual binding site acetylcholinesterase inhibitors

  • Pisani L
  • Catto M
  • Giangreco I
 et al. 
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A large series of substituted coumarins linked through an appropriate spacer to 3-hydroxy-N,N-dimethylanilino or 3-hydroxy-N,N,N-trialkylbenzaminium moieties were synthesized and evaluated as acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) inhibitors. The highest AChE inhibitory potency in the 3-hydroxy-N,N-dimethylanilino series was observed with a 6,7-dimethoxy-3-substituted coumarin derivative, which, along with an outstanding affinity (IC(50)=0.236 nM) exhibits excellent AChE/BChE selectivity (SI>300 000). Most of the synthesized 3-hydroxy-N,N,N-trialkylbenzaminium salts display an AChE affinity in the sub-nanomolar to picomolar range along with excellent AChE/BChE selectivities (SI values up to 138 333). The combined use of docking and molecular dynamics simulations permitted us to shed light on the observed structure-affinity and structure-selectivity relationships, to detect two possible alternative binding modes, and to assess the critical role of pi-pi stacking interactions in the AChE peripheral binding site.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Acetylcholinesterase
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Coumarin derivatives
  • Glaucoma
  • Inhibitors

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  • Leonardo Pisani

  • Marco Catto

  • Ilenia Giangreco

  • Francesco Leonetti

  • Orazio Nicolotti

  • Angela Stefanachi

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