Structure-based inhibition of acetylcholinesterase and butyrylcholinesterase with 2-Aryl-6-carboxamide benzoxazole derivatives: synthesis, enzymatic assay, and in silico studies

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Kuzu B., ALAGÖZ M. A., Demir Y., GÜLÇİN İ., BURMAOĞLU S., Algul O.

Molecular Diversity, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11030-024-10828-6
  • Journal Name: Molecular Diversity
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, BIOSIS, Chemical Abstracts Core, MEDLINE
  • Keywords: Acetylcholinesterase, Benzoxazole, Butyrylcholinesterase, Enzyme inhibition, Molecular docking and dynamic simulation
  • Van Yüzüncü Yıl University Affiliated: Yes


An important research topic is the discovery of multifunctional compounds targeting different disease-causing components. This research aimed to design and synthesize a series of 2-aryl-6-carboxamide benzoxazole derivatives that inhibit cholinesterases on both the peripheral anionic and catalytic anionic sides. Compounds (7–48) were prepared from 4-amino-3-hydroxybenzoic acid in three steps. The Ellman test, molecular docking with Maestro, and molecular dynamics simulation studies with Desmond were done (Schrodinger, 12.8.117). Compound 36, the most potent compound among the 42 new compounds synthesized, had an inhibitory concentration of IC50 12.62 nM for AChE and IC50 25.45 nM for BChE (whereas donepezil was 69.3 nM and 63.0 nM, respectively). Additionally, compound 36 had docking values ​​of − 7.29 kcal/mol for AChE and − 6.71 kcal/mol for BChE (whereas donepezil was − 6.49 kcal/mol and − 5.057 kcal/mol, respectively). Furthermore, molecular dynamics simulations revealed that compound 36 is stable in the active gorges of both AChE (average RMSD: 1.98 Å) and BChE (average RMSD: 2.2 Å) (donepezil had average RMSD: 1.65 Å and 2.7 Å, respectively). The results show that compound 36 is a potent, selective, mixed-type dual inhibitor of both acetylcholinesterase and butyrylcholinesterase. It does this by binding to both the catalytically active and peripheral anionic sites of cholinesterases at the same time. These findings show that target compounds may be useful for establishing the structural basis for new anti-Alzheimer agents. Graphical abstract: (Figure presented.)