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Design, synthesis and multitarget biological profiling of second-generation anti-Alzheimer rhein–huprine hybrids

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Aim: Simultaneous modulation of several key targets of the pathological network of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is being increasingly pursued as a promising option to fill the critical gap of efficacious drugs against this condition. Materials & Methods: A short series of compounds purported to hit multiple targets of relevance in AD has been designed, on the basis of their distinct basicities estimated from high-level quantum mechanical computations, synthesized, and subjected to assays of inhibition of cholinesterases, BACE-1, and Aβ42 and tau aggregation, of antioxidant activity, and of brain permeation.

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Results: Using, as a template, a lead rhein–huprine hybrid with an interesting multitarget profile, we have developed second-generation compounds, designed by the modification of the huprine aromatic ring. Replacement by [1,8]-naphthyridine or thieno[3,2-e]pyridine systems resulted in decreased, although still potent, acetylcholinesterase or BACE-1 inhibitory activities, which are more balanced relative to their Aβ42 and tau antiaggregating and antioxidant activities. Conclusion: Second-generation naphthyridine- and thienopyridine-based rhein–huprine hybrids emerge as interesting brain permeable compounds that hit several crucial pathogenic factors of AD.
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Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most prevalent neurodegenerative disorder and a major cause of death worldwide [1]. Because it is broadly accepted that AD is a multifactorial disorder, the development of drug candidates that simultaneously hit several key pathogenic factors is being increasingly pursued as a more realistic option to halt or slow the progression of the disease than compounds aimed at modulating a single molecular target [2–10]. Indeed, AD drug discovery is one of the fields in which the development of multitarget agents has experienced a greater growth in the past years [11]. Multitarget compounds are usually designed by combining into hybrid molecules two or more pharmacophoric moieties that are known to enable the interaction with the selected molecular targets [12].

Click here to read the full article in Future Medicinal Chemistry.

 

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