Multifunctional donepezil analogues as cholinesterase and BACE1 inhibitors

Keith D. Green, Marina Y. Fosso, Sylvie Garneau-Tsodikova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


A series of 22 donepezil analogues were synthesized through alkylation/benzylation and compared to donepezil and its 6-O-desmethyl adduct. All the compounds were found to be potent inhibitors of both acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and butyrylcholinesterase (BChE), two enzymes responsible for the hydrolysis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in Alzheimer’s disease patient brains. Many of them displayed lower inhibitory concentrations of EeAChE (IC 50 = 0.016 ± 0.001 µM to 0.23 ± 0.03 µM) and EfBChE (IC 50 = 0.11 ± 0.01 µM to 1.3 ± 0.2 µM) than donepezil. One of the better compounds was tested against HsAChE and was found to be even more active than donepezil and inhibited HsAChE better than EeAChE. The analogues with the aromatic substituents were generally more potent than the ones with aliphatic substituents. Five of the analogues also inhibited the action of β-secretase (BACE1) enzyme.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3252
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 8 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by startup funds (to S.G.-T.) from the College of Pharmacy at the University of Kentucky. Molecular graphics and analyses were performed with UCSF Chimera, developed by the Resource for Biocomputing, Visualization, and Informatics at the University of California, San Francisco, with support from NIH P41-GM103311.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 by the authors.


  • Acetylcholinesterase
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Butyrylcholinesterase
  • Inhibitors
  • β-secretase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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