Hybrids of oxoisoaporphine-tacrine congeners: Novel acetylcholinesterase and acetylcholinesterase-induced β-amyloid aggregation inhibitors

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    cases. Moreover, ve out of the 12 hybrids of this series, particularly those bearing a tetrahydroacridinemoiety, exhibit a signicant in vitro inhibitory activity toward the AChE-induced and self-induced Ab

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    one hand, amyloid brils can be self-assembled in vitro. It has beenpostulated that the generic amyloid conformation, the cross-b structure, may be a universal, energetic minimum for aggregatedproteins. Once formed, amyloid brils are extremely stable and

    its hepatotoxicity has reduced its therapeutic application [14],developing tacrine-analogues are still of interest in AD [12,15e17].Crystal structures of the complexes of THA with AChE showed thattacrine can interact with AChE at the catalytic anionic subsite (CAS),principally through a stacking interaction with Trp84.

    Oxoisoaporphine alkaloids [18] were isolated from the rhizomeof Menispermum dauricum (Menispermaceae) which were widelypresent in the Peoples Republic of China. We recently reported that

    * Corresponding author. Tel./fax: 86 773 2120958.

    Contents lists availab

    European Journal of M

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    European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 46 (2011) 4970e4979E-mail address: chenzfubc@yahoo.com (Z.-F. Chen).estimated 30 million people with dementia worldwide. By 2050, itis expected that the gure will have increased to over 100 million.Much of the increase will be contributed by the developing coun-tries (data from Alzheimers Disease International (ADI)). A centuryhas passed since ADwas rst described by German psychiatrist andneuropathologist Alois Alzheimer in 1906. Alzheimers diseasetreating remains a challenge for the pharmaceutical community. Inspite of the multifactorial nature of AD, most treatment strategieshave aimed at two main targets: the b-amyloid peptide [1,2] andthe cholinergic neurotransmission [3].

    b-Amyloid peptide is a main component of the senile plaquesthat constitute one of the neuropathologicalehistological featuresof AD [4]. Many factors can cause amyloid bril formation. On the

    competition assays with AChEIs [6] clearly identied enzymeperipheral anionic site (PAS) as a locus of protein interaction withAb. Therefore, dual-site inhibitors that interact simultaneously withboth the catalytic site and the PAS appear to be a very promisingtherapeutic strategy, since they will not only stimulate thecholinergic system, but also inhibit the production or the aggre-gation of b-amyloid promoted by AChE [8]. Based on the dual-sitetheory, a number of studies have been performed. These includetacrine-melatonin hybrids (Fig. 1) [9], donepezil-tacrine hybrid-s(Fig. 1) [10,11], as well as tacrine-carbazole hybrids (Fig. 1) [12].

    Tacrine (tetrahydroaminoacridine or THA), a reversible inhibitorof acetylcholinesterase active site, has been one of the mainlyapproved drugs for use in AD [13]. Although it lacks selectivity andAvailable online 7 August 2011

    Keywords:Oxoisoaporphine derivativesSynthesisAcetylcholinesterase inhibitorsb-amyloid aggregation

    1. Introduction

    Alzheimers disease (AD) is the fopeople over 65 years old in the wo0223-5234/$ e see front matter 2011 Elsevier Masdoi:10.1016/j.ejmech.2011.08.002aggregation, which makes them promising anti-Alzheimer drug candidates. 2011 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

    ading cause of death inof 2008, there are an

    difcult to solubilize [5]. Meanwhile, AChE can bind to the Ab non-amyloidogenic form, inducing a conformational transition to theamyloidogenic conformation with subsequent amyloid brilaggregation [6]. Structural analysis by X-ray crystallography [7] and12 July 2011Accepted 1 August 2011congener, connected through an oligomethylene linker containing an amine group at variable position.These hybrids exhibit high AChE inhibitory activity with IC50 values in the nanomolar range in mostReceived in revised form amyloid (Ab) aggregation. The new hybrids consist of a unit of 1-azabenzanthrone and a tacrine or itsOriginal article

    Hybrids of oxoisoaporphine-tacrine conacetylcholinesterase-induced b-amyloid

    Huang Tang a, Li-Zhen Zhao a, Hao-Tao Zhao a, Shi-LZhen-Feng Chen a,*, Zhi-Shu Huang b, Hong Liang a

    a State Key Laboratory Cultivation Base for the Chemistry and Molecular Engineering ofUniversity, Guilin 541004, PR Chinab School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510080, PR Chi

    a r t i c l e i n f o

    Article history:Received 5 April 2011

    a b s t r a c t

    A series of dual binding sittested for their ability to in

    journal homepage: http: / /wwson SAS. All rights reserved.ners: Novel acetylcholinesterase andggregation inhibitors

    ng Huang b, Shu-Ming Zhong a, Jiang-Ke Qin a,

    dicinal Resources, School of Chemistry & Chemical Engineering of Guangxi Normal

    etylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitors have been designed, synthesized, andit AChE, butyrylcholinesterase (BChE), AChE-induced and self-induced b-

    le at ScienceDirect

    edicinal Chemistry

    .e lsevier .com/locate/ejmech

  • tacrine congeners was involved in two kinds of key intermediatecompounds 6aeb and 4aei.

    Preparation of the key intermediate compounds 6aeb was

    next step without further purication. However, for characteriza-

    Scheme 1. Synthesis of u-haloalkanamides.

    H. Tang et al. / European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 46 (2011) 4970e4979 4971synthetic derivatives of oxoisoaporphine alkaloids exhibited highacetylcholinesterase inhibitory activity and high selectivity forAChE over BChE [19,20]. Molecular docking simulations on theoxoisoaporphine derivatives with AChE from Torpedo californicahave demonstrated that 1-azabenzanthrone moiety of the ligandscan interact with PAS of acetylcholinesterase, especially with Trp279 of PAS [19]. It was thus predicted that hybrids ofoxoisoaporphine-tacrine congeners in which the two pharmaco-phores were separated by a linker of a suitable length would haveboth greater inhibitory potency and selectivity than tacrine oroxoisoaporphine itself and should be involved in neurotrophicactivity.

    In this paper, we continue our research based on the dual-sitetheory. A series of hybrids of oxoisoaporphine-tacrine congenersdesigned to simultaneously interact with the active and peripheralbinding sites of acetylcholinesterase have been synthesized. Theirability to inhibit AChE, BChE, AChE-induced and self-induced Abaggregation was tested. These compounds (Fig. 2) consist of a unitof tacrine or its congeners, which occupies the same position astacrine at the AChE active site, and the 1-azabenzanthrone moietywhose position along the enzyme gorge and the peripheral site canbe modulated by a suitable tether that connects tacrine and 1-azabenzanthrone.Fig. 1. Structures of some known dual-site inhibitors.2. Results and discussion

    2.1. Chemistry

    The bivalent ligand strategy involves the synthesis of drugs inwhich identical or different pharmacophores are linked via a suit-able linker. As the pocket of AChE is deep, a few carbon chains asa linker were needed at the middle site between the gorge and theentrance of AChE. Total synthesis of hybrids of oxoisoaporphine-

    Fig. 2. Structures of synthesized hybrids of oxoisoaporphine-tacrine congeners.tion purposes, the new amines 4aei were puried by columnchromatography (CH2Cl2:CH3OH 100:3).

    Finally, heterodimers 7ael were prepared by alkylation of 6aand 6b respectively, with amines 4aei in ethanol with moderateyields (Scheme 3).

    2.2. AChE and BuChE results and SAR discussion

    To evaluate the biological proles of these heterodimericcompounds for AD, AChE (Electrophorus electricus) and BChE(equine serum) inhibition was assayed in comparison with tacrineas reference compounds. The inhibitory potency against AChE andBChE was evaluated by the method of Ellman [24]. Table 1summarizes the data comparing AChE and BChE inhibition aswell as the selectivity for AChE or BChE inhibitory activities fromIC50 values for the new synthesized heterodimers. Heterodimer 7fexhibited an optimum AChE inhibitory activity, as noted in the factthat it is 31-fold more potent than tacrine. Moreover, compound 7fpossessed high AChE/BuChE selectivity ratios (32.4-fold).

    According to the data shown in Table 1 and Fig 3, the synthe-sized heterodimers which consist of a unit of tacrine (7eeh)shown in Scheme 1. Synthesis of 9-amino-1-azabenzanthrone 5was carried out by a reported method [21,22]. The u-hal-oalkanamides 6aebwere prepared in essentially quantitative yieldby acylation of 5 with the appropriate acid halide (n 1e2).

    The related amines 4aei were chosen as the other criticalintermediates for the synthesis of heterodimers. Their syntheticalroute is illustrated in Scheme 2. The POCl3-mediated cyclo-dehydration reaction between o-aminobenzoic acid and cyclo-ketones 1aec was adapted to the corresponding chlorides 2aecwith moderate yields (54e94%). The amination of the chlorides2aecwas carried out in reactionwith 5 equiv of a, u-diamine 3aecin reuxing 1-pentanol [23] for 6e12 h, followed by removal of thesolvent. The resulting mixture was diluted with dichloromethaneand washed with large amount of water. Finally the organic phasewas dried with anhydrous Na2SO4 and concentrated in vacuo togive amines 4aei as pale-brown oily residue, which was used in theScheme 2. Synthesis of tacrine-analogues. Reagent and condition: (a) POCl3, reux 3h.(b) 4e5 equiv NH2(CH2)nNH2, 1-pentanol, reux 6e12 h.

  • showed higher inhibitory effect on AChE, compared with theircongeners (7aed and 7iel). In comparisonwith 7eeh (3.4e182 nMfor AChE), carbocyclic-shrinked congeners 7aed resulted in 5- to124-fold (513e910 nM) less potency at AChE. By contrast, ring-expanded 7iel had moderate potency (61e745 nM) on AChE. Thissuggested that the binding pockets of AChE might acco