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Eur J Med Chem. 2011 Aug;46(8):3474-85. doi: 10.1016/j.ejmech.2011.05.014. Epub 2011 May 12.

8-Aryl- and alkyloxycaffeine analogues as inhibitors of monoamine oxidase.

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  • 1Pharmaceutical Chemistry, School of Pharmacy, North-West University, Private Bag X6001, Potchefstroom 2520, South Africa.


Recently it was reported that a series of 8-benzyloxycaffeine analogues are potent reversible inhibitors of human monoamine oxidase (MAO) A and B. In an attempt to discover additional C8 oxy substituents of caffeine that lead to potent MAO inhibition, a series of related 8-aryl- and alkyloxycaffeine analogues were synthesized and their MAO-A and -B inhibition potencies were compared to those of the 8-benzyloxycaffeines. The results document that while the 8-substituted-oxycaffeine analogues inhibited both human MAO isoforms, they displayed a high degree of selectivity for MAO-B. 8-(3-Phenylpropoxy)caffeine, 8-(2-phenoxyethoxy)caffeine and 8-[(5-methylhexyl)oxy]caffeine were found to be the especially potent MAO-B inhibitors with IC(50) values ranging from 0.38 to 0.62 μM. These inhibitors are therefore 2.5-4.6 fold more potent MAO-B inhibitors than is 8-benzyloxycaffeine (IC(50) = 1.77 μM). It is also demonstrated that, analogous to 8-benzyloxycaffeine, halogen substitution on the phenyl ring of the C8 substituent significantly enhances MAO binding affinity. For example, the most potent MAO-B inhibitor of the present series is 8-[2-(4-bromophenoxy)ethoxy]caffeine with an IC(50) value of 0.166 μM. This study also reports possible binding orientations of selected oxy caffeines within the active site cavities of MAO-A and MAO-B.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

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