The design, synthesis and evaluation of aminocaffeine derivatives as inhibitors of monoamine oxidase B
Moraal, Christina Maria
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Monoamine oxidase (MAO) is responsible for dopamine catabolism in the brain and therefore is especially important in the treatment of Parkinson's disease (PD). MAO–B inhibition provides symptomatic relief by indirectly elevating dopamine levels in the PD brain. PD is caused by the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra and the formation of proteinaceous structures in the brain. The cause of idiopathic PD is unknown, but one theory states that reactive oxygen species (ROS), partly derived from the catalytic cycle of MAO, may be to blame for damaging dopaminergic neurons. Since MAO inhibitors may reduce the MAO–catalyzed production of ROS, these compounds may protect dopaminergic neurons against degeneration in PD. It is commonly accepted that by the time PD symptoms manifest, about 80% of striatal dopamine has been lost. MAO is present as two subtypes in the human brain, namely MAO–A and MAO–B. MAOs are found mainly attached to the mitochondrial membrane and is responsible for the oxidative deamination of various monoamines, including dopamine. MAO is a dimeric enzyme which operates in conjunction with a co–factor, flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD), to which it is covalently bound. The flavin is in a bent conformation, which assists the catalytic activity of MAO. As mentioned above, the catalytic action of MAO also produces harmful substances such as hydrogen peroxide, ammonia, aldehydes and may also increase the levels of hydroxyl radicals. In the healthy brain, these substances are metabolized rapidly, but the PD brain may exhibit reduced clearance of these species. Thus the inhibition of MAOs may be beneficial to the PD sufferer as it indirectly increases dopamine levels in the brain and may also slow the formation of harmful substances. MAO inhibitors, of the MAO–A type, were first used as anti–depressants. It was these drugs that first prompted researchers to explore MAO inhibitors as novel anti–parkinsonian drugs, as MAO–A inhibition slows the degradation of dopamine. Two types of inhibition modes exist, irreversible and reversible inhibition. Irreversible inhibitors do not allow for competition with the substrate and inactivate the enzyme permanently. Selegiline, a propargyl amine derivative, is an example of an irreversible MAO–B selective inhibitor. The major disadvantage of irreversible inhibitors is that after terminating treatment, recovery of the enzyme activity may require several weeks, since the turnover rate for the biosynthesis of MAO in the human brain may be as much as 40 days. Reversible inhibitors have better safety profiles since they allow for competition with the substrate. (E)–8–(3–Chlorostyryl)caffeine (CSC) is an example of a reversible inhibitor of MAO–B and is also an antagonist of the adenosine A2A receptor. Since antagonism of A2A receptors also produces an antiparkinsonian effect, dual acting compounds such as CSC, which block both the A2A receptors and MAO–B, may have an enhanced therapeutic potential in PD therapy. Current PD therapy available only treats the symptoms of PD and do not halt or slow the progression of the neurodegenerative processes. There therefore exists the need for the development of antiparkinsonian drugs with neuroprotective effects. Since both MAO–B inhibitors and A2A receptor antagonists are reported to possess protective effects in PD and PD animal models, dual acting drugs, that antagonize A2A receptors and inhibit MAO–B, may be candidates for neuroprotection. Using the structure of CSC as lead, we investigate in the current study, the possibility that aminocaffeines may also possess potent MAO–B inhibitory properties. The structures of the aminocaffeine derivatives that were investigated bear close structural resemblance to CSC as well as to a series of alkyloxycaffeine analogues that was recently found to be potent MAO inhibitors. This study therefore further explores the structural requirements of caffeine derivatives to act as MAO inhibitors by examining the possibility that aminocaffeine derivatives may be MAO inhibitors. Such compounds may act as lead compounds for the development of improved PD therapy. In this study, a series of 8–aminocaffeine derivatives were synthesized and evaluated as inhibitors of human MAO–A and B. For this purpose, 8–chlorocaffeine was reacted with the appropriate amine at high temperatures to produce the desired 8–aminocaffeine derivatives. The inhibitory activities of the compounds were determined towards recombinant human MAO–A and B and expressed as IC50 values. The results showed that human MAO–B was most potently inhibited by 8–[methyl(4–phenylbutyl)amino]caffeine with an IC50 value of 2.97 ?M. Human MAO–A was most potently inhibited by 8–[2–(3–chlorophenyl)–ethylamino]caffeine with an IC50 value of 5.78 ?M. It was found that methylation of the amine group at C8 of the caffeine ring increases inhibition but also selectivity towards MAO–B inhibition. For example, 8–[4–(phenylbutylamino)]caffeine inhibits MAO–B with an IC50 value of 7.56 ?M whereas 8–[methyl(4–phenylbutyl)amino]–caffeine has an increased inhibition potency of 2.97 ?M. The selectivity for MAO–B inhibition also increases over MAO–A when the C8 amine is methylated. It was found that the aminocaffeine derivatives bind reversibly to both enzyme isoforms and the mode of inhibition is competitive for MAO–B. From these results it can be concluded that although the 8–aminocaffeine derivatives are only moderately potent MAO–B inhibitors, they may act as lead compounds for the design of more potent reversible MAO inhibitors. Docking studies revealed that the 8–aminocaffeine and 8–[(methyl)amino]caffeine derivatives traverse both the entrance and substrate cavities of the MAO–B enzyme, with the caffeinyl moiety oriented towards the FAD co–factor while the amino–side chain protrudes into the entrance cavity.
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