A series of naphthylisopropylamine and N-benzyl-4-methylthioamphetamine derivatives were evaluated as monoamine oxidase inhibitors. Their potencies were compared with those of a series of amphetamine derivatives, to test if the increase of electron richness of the aromatic ring and overall size of the molecule might improve their potency as enzyme inhibitors. Molecular dockings were performed to gain insight regarding the binding mode of these inhibitors and rationalize their different potencies. In the case of naphthylisopropylamine derivatives, the increased electron-donating capacity and size of the aromatic moiety resulting from replacement of the phenyl ring of amphetamine derivatives by a naphthalene system resulted in more potent compounds. In the other case, extension of the arylisopropylamine molecule by N-benzylation of the amino group led to a decrease in potency as monoamine oxidase inhibitors. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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