The synthesis and evaluation of phenoxymethylcaffeine analogues as inhibitors of monoamine oxidase
Swanepoel, Abraham Johannes
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Purpose: Monoamine oxidase (MAO) plays a key role in the treatment of Parkinson's disease (PD), since it is the major enzyme responsible for the catabolism of dopamine in the substantia nigra of the brain. Inhibition of MAO-B may conserve dopamine in the brain and provide symptomatic relief. The MAO-B inhibitors that are currently used for the treatment of PD, are associated with a variety of adverse effects (psychotoxic and cardiovascular effects) along with additional disadvantages such as irreversible inhibition of the enzyme. Irreversible inhibition may be considered a disadvantage, since following treatment with irreversible inhibitors, the rate by which the enzyme activity is recovered may be variable and may require several weeks. In contrast, following the administration of reversible inhibitors, enzyme activity is recovered when the inhibitor is cleared from the tissues. There exists therefore, a need to develop new reversible inhibitors of MAO-B which are considered to be safer than irreversible MAO-B inhibitors. Rationale: Recently discovered reversible MAO-B inhibitors include safinamide and (E)-8-(3-chlorostyryl)caffeine (CSC). Safinamide has a benzyloxy side chain, which is thought to be important for inhibition of MAO-B. CSC, on the other hand, consists of a caffeine moiety with a styryl substituent at C-8, which is also a critical feature for its inhibitory activity. In a previous study, the caffeine ring and the benzyloxy side chain were combined to produce a series of 8-benzyloxycaffeine analogues which proved to be potent new MAO-B inhibitors. In this study, caffeine was substituted with the phenoxymethyl functional group at C-8, instead of the benzyloxy moiety. The aim of this study was therefore to compare the MAO-B inhibition potencies of selected 8-(phenoxymethyl)caffeine analogues with the previously studied 8-benzyloxycaffeine analogues. In the current study, 8-(phenoxymethyl)caffeine (1) and nine 8-(phenoxymethyl)caffeine analogues (2-10) were synthesized and evaluated as inhibitors of recombinant human MAOA and –B. These analogues only differed in substitution on C3 and C4 of the phenoxymethyl phenyl ring. The substituents that were selected were halogens (Cl, F, and Br), the methyl group, the methoxy group and the trifluoromethyl group. These substituents are similar to those selected in a previous study where 8-benzyloxycaffeine analogues were evaluated as MAO inhibitors. This study therefore explores the effect that a variety of substituents on C3 and C4 of the phenoxymethyl phenyl ring will have on the MAO-A and –B inhibition potencies of 8-(phenoxymethyl)caffeine. Based on the results, additional 8-(phenoxymethyl)caffeine analogues with improved MAO-A and –B inhibition potencies will be proposed for investigation in future studies. Methods: The target, 8-(phenoxymethyl)caffeine, analogues were synthesized by reacting 1,3- dimethyl-5,6-diaminouracil with the appropriately substituted phenoxyacetic acid in the presence of a carbodiimide coupling agent. Ring closure was catalyzed in basic conditions and methylation of the resulting theophyline intermediates at C-7 was carried out with iodomethane. The structures and purities of all the target compounds were verified by NMR, MS and HPLC analysis. All of the 8-(phenoxymethyl)caffeine analogues were subsequently evaluated as MAO-A and –B inhibitors using the recombinant human enzymes. The inhibition potencies of the analogues were expressed as the IC50 values (concentration of the inhibitor that produces 50% inhibition). In addition, the time-dependency of inhibition of both MAO-A and –B was evaluated for two inhibitors in order to determine if these inhibitors interact reversibly or irreversibly with the MAO isozymes. A Hansch-type quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) study was carried out in order to quantify the effect that different substituents on the phenyl ring of the 8-(phenoxymethyl)caffeine analogues have on MAO-B inhibition activity. Results: The results showed that among the test compounds, several analogues potently inhibited human MAO-B. The most potent inhibitor was 8-(3-bromophenoxymethyl)caffeine with an IC50 value of 0.148 μM toward human MAO-B. There were also inhibitors which displayed inhibition activities towards human MAO-A with IC50 values ranging from 4.59 μM to 34.0 μM. Compared to the 8-benzyloxycaffeine analogues, that were in general non-selective inhibitors, the 8-(phenoxymethyl)caffeine analogues, evaluated here, were selective for MAO-B. For example, 8-(3-bromophenoxymethyl)caffeine was found to be 141 fold more selective as an inhibitor of MAO-B than of MAO-A. Also, compared to the 8-benzyloxycaffeine analogues, the 8-(phenoxymethyl)caffeine analogues were slightly less potent MAO-B inhibitors. For example, 8-benzyloxycaffeine is reported to have an IC50 value of 1.77 μM for the inhibition of human MAO-B while 8-(phenoxymethyl)caffeine was found to have an IC50 value of 5.78 μM for the inhibition of human MAO-B. This study also shows that two selected analogues bind reversibly to MAO-A and –B, respectively, and that the mode of MAO-B inhibition is competitive for one representative compound. Qualitative inspection of the results revealed interesting structure-activity relationships. For the 8-(phenoxymethyl)caffeine analogues, bearing both the C3 and C4 substituents on the phenyl ring, the MAO-B activity significantly increases with halogen substitution. Furthermore, increased MAO-B inhibition was observed with increased electronegativity of the halogen substituent. To quantify these apparent relationships, a Hansch-type QSAR study was carried out. The results showed that the logarithm of the IC50 values (logIC50) correlated with Hansch lipophilicity (π) and the Swain-Lupton electronic (F) constants of the substituents at C-3 of the phenoxymethyl ring. The correlation exhibited an R2 value of 0.87 and a statistical F value of 13.6. From these results it may be concluded that electron-withdrawing substituents at C3 with a high degree of lipophilicity enhance MAO-B inhibition potency. These results are similar to those previously obtained for the series of 8-benzyloxycaffeine analogues. For this series, the MAO-B inhibition potencies correlated with the Hansch lipophilicity (π) and Hammett electronic (σ) constants of the substituents at C-3 of the benzyloxy ring. Similarly to the 8-(phenoxymethyl)caffeine analogues, electron-withdrawing substituents with a high degree of lipophilicity also enhance the MAO-B inhibition potencies of 8-benzyloxycaffeine analogues.
- Health Sciences