In order to identify novel Alzheimer’s modifying pharmacological tools,we developed bis-tacrines bearing a peptide moiety for specific interference with surface sites of human acetylcholinesterase (hAChE) binding amyloid-beta (Aβ). Accordingly, compounds 2a−c proved to be inhibitors of hAChE catalytic and noncatalytic functions, binding the catalytic and peripheral sites, interfering with Aβ aggregation and with the Aβ self-oligomerization process (2a). Compounds 2a−c in complex with TcAChE span the gorge with the bis-tacrine system, and the peptide moieties bulge outside the gorge in proximity of the peripheral site. These moieties are likely responsible for the observed reduction of hAChE-induced Aβ aggregation since they physically hamper Aβ binding to the enzyme surface. Moreover, 2a was able to significantly interfere with Aβ self-oligomerization, while 2b,c showed improved inhibition of hAChE-induced Aβ aggregation.
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