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J Med Chem. 2012 Feb 9;55(3):1303-17. doi: 10.1021/jm201460y. Epub 2012 Jan 27.

New tacrine-4-oxo-4H-chromene hybrids as multifunctional agents for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, with cholinergic, antioxidant, and β-amyloid-reducing properties.

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Instituto de Química Médica, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (IQM-CSIC), Juan de la Cierva 3, 28006 Madrid, Spain.


By using fragments endowed with interesting and complementary properties for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD), a new family of tacrine-4-oxo-4H-chromene hybrids has been designed, synthesized, and evaluated biologically. The tacrine fragment was selected for its inhibition of cholinesterases, and the flavonoid scaffold derived from 4-oxo-4H -chromene was chosen for its radical capture and β-secretase 1 (BACE-1) inhibitory activities. At nano- and picomolar concentrations, the new tacrine-4-oxo-4H-chromene hybrids inhibit human acetyl- and butyrylcholinesterase (h-AChE and h-BuChE), being more potent than the parent inhibitor, tacrine. They are also potent inhibitors of human BACE-1, better than the parent flavonoid, apigenin. They show interesting antioxidant properties and could be able to penetrate into the CNS according to the in vitro PAMPA-BBB assay. Among the hybrids investigated, 6-hydroxy-4-oxo- N-{10-[(1,2,3,4-tetrahydroacridin-9-yl)amino]decyl}-4 H-chromene-2-carboxamide (19) shows potent combined inhibition of human BACE-1 and ChEs, as well as good antioxidant and CNS-permeable properties.

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