Novel isosorbide di-ester compounds as inhibitors of acetylcholinesterase

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Chemico-Biological Interactions, 175(1-3), 293–297 (2008) .


We report herein that a variety of isosorbide di-esters, previously reported to be novel substrates for butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE, EC, are in fact inhibitors of the homologous enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE), with IC50 values in the micromolar range. In vitro studies show that they are mixed inhibitors of the enzyme, and thus the ternary enzyme-inhibitor–substrate complex can form in acetylcholinesterase. This is rationalised by molecular modelling which shows that the compounds bind in the mid-gorge area. In this position, simultaneous substrate binding might be possible, but the hydrolysis of this substrate is prevented. The di-esters dock within the butyrylcholinesterase gorge in a very different manner, with the ester sidechain at the 5-position occupying the acyl pocket at residues Leu286 and Val288, and the 2-ester binding to Trp82. The carbonyl group of the 2-ester is susceptible to nucleophilic attack by Ser198 of the catalytic triad. The larger residues of the acyl pocket in acetylcholinesterase prevent binding in this manner. The results complement each other and explain the differing behaviours of the esters in the cholinesterase enzymes. These findings may prove very significant for future work.

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