Multi-targeted directed ligands for Alzheimer’s disease: design of novel lead coumarin conjugates

Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by central nervous system insults with progressive cognitive (memory, attention) and non-cognitive (anxiety, depression) impairments. Pathophysiological events affect predominantly cholinergic neuronal loss and dysfunctions of the dopaminergic system. The aim of the current study was to design multi-targeted directed lead structures based on the coumarin scaffold with inhibitory properties at two key enzymes in disease relevant systems, i.e. acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and monoamine oxidase B (MAO-B). Conventional and microwave synthetic methods were utilized to synthesize coumarin scaffold-based novel morpholino, piperidino, thiophene and erucic acid conjugates. Biological assays indicated that the coumarin–morpholine ether conjugate BPR 10 was the most potent hMAO-B inhibitor. The coumarin–piperidine conjugates BPR 13 and BPR 12 were the most potent inhibitors of eeAChE at 100 μM and 1 μM, respectively. Molecular modelling studies were conducted with Accelrys® Discovery Studio® V3.1.1 utilising the published hMAO-B (2V61) and hAChE (4EY7) crystal structures. Compound BPR 10 occupies both the entrance and substrate cavities of the active site of MAO-B. BPR 13 resides in both the peripheral anionic site (PAS) and the catalytic anionic site (CAS) of hAChE. This study demonstrated that the coumarin scaffold serves as a promising pharmacophore for MTDLs design.