“Clicking“ fragment leads to novel dual-binding cholinesterase inhibitors

Zuzanna Molęda, Anna Zawadzka, Zbigniew Czarnocki, Leticia Monjas, Anna K.H. Hirsch, Armand Budzianowski, Jan K. Maurin

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bmc.2021.116269

Graphical abstract

Abstract

Cholinesterase inhibitors are potent therapeutics in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Among them, dual binding ligands have recently gained a lot of attention. We discovered novel dual-binding cholinesterase inhibitors, using “clickable” fragments, which bind to either catalytic active site (CAS) or peripheral anionic site (PAS) of the enzyme. Copper(I)-catalyzed azide-alkyne cycloaddition allowed to effectively synthesize a series of final heterodimers, and modeling and kinetic studies confirmed their ability to bind to both CAS and PAS. A potent acetylcholinesterase inhibitor with IC50 = 18 nM (compound 23g) was discovered. A target-guided approach to link fragments by the enzyme itself was tested using butyrylcholinesterase.

Keywords: Galantamine; Tryptamine; Tetrahydroisoquinoline; Triazole; ”click” chemistry; Target-guided synthesis; Hybrid drugs; Structure-activity relationship; Combinatorial libraries

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