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J Med Chem. 2011 Apr 28;54(8):2627-45. doi: 10.1021/jm101299d. Epub 2011 Apr 6.

Homodimeric bis-quaternary heterocyclic ammonium salts as potent acetyl- and butyrylcholinesterase inhibitors: a systematic investigation of the influence of linker and cationic heads over affinity and selectivity.

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Departamento de Química Farmacéutica y Orgánica, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad de Granada, Granada, Spain.


A molecular library of quaternary ammonium salts (QASs), mainly composed of symmetrical bis-quaternary heterocyclic bromides exhibiting choline kinase (ChoK) inhibitory activity, were evaluated for their ability to inhibit acetyl- and butyrylcholinesterase (AChE and BChE, respectively). The molecular framework of QASs consisted of two positively charged heteroaromatic (pyridinium or quinolinium) or sterically hindered aliphatic (quinuclidinium) nitrogen rings kept at an appropriate distance by lipophilic rigid or semirigid linkers. Many homodimeric QASs showed AChE and BChE inhibitory potency in the nanomolar range along with a low enzymatic selectivity. Computational studies on AChE, BChE, and ChoK allowed identification of the key molecular determinants for high affinity and selectivity over either one of the three enzymes and guided the design of a hybrid bis-QAS (56) exhibiting the highest AChE affinity (IC(50) = 15 nM) and selectivity over BChE and ChoK (SI = 50 and 562, respectively) and a promising pharmacological potential in myasthenia gravis and neuromuscular blockade.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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