Inhibition of monoamine oxidase by selected 8–[(phenylsulfanyl)methyl]caffeine derivatives
Okaecwe, Thokozile Audrey Dorcas
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Purpose: Monoamine oxidase (MAO) consists of two isoforms, namely MAO-A and MAO-B. Both these isoforms are involved in the oxidation of dopamine. In Parkinson’s disease (PD) therapy, the inhibition of the oxidation of dopamine by MAO may elevate the levels of dopamine in the brain and prevent the generation of toxic by-products such as hydrogen peroxide. MAO-B inhibitors have found application as monotherapy in PD and it has been shown that MAO-B inhibitors may also be useful as adjuvants to L-dopa in PD therapy. For example, an earlier study has shown that the combination of L-dopa with (R)-deprenyl (a selective MAO-B inhibitor), may lead to a reduction of the dose of L-dopa required for alleviating the motor symptoms in PD patients. However, older MAO inhibitors may possess adverse side effects such as psychotoxicity, liver toxicity and cardiovascular effects. The irreversible mode of inhibition of the older MAO-B inhibitors, such as (R)-deprenyl, may also be considered as less desirable. After the use of irreversible inhibitors, it may require several weeks for the MAO enzyme to recover activity. In contrast, after administration of a reversible inhibitor, enzyme activity is recovered as soon as the inhibitor is cleared form the tissues. The adverse effects and disadvantages of the older MAO-B inhibitors prompted us to undertake the discovery of safer and reversible inhibitors of MAO-B. Such compounds may find application in the treatment of PD. Rationale: It was recently discovered that (E)-8-(3-chlorostyryl)caffeine (CSC) is a potent inhibitor of MAO-B, with an IC50 value of 0.128 µM. CSC has a caffeine moiety, which is thought to be essential for MAO-B inhibition. It was also reported that a related series of 8- (phenoxymethyl)caffeine derivatives are potent and reversible inhibitors of MAO-A and –B. The IC50 values of the 8-(phenoxymethyl)caffeines ranged from 0.148–5.78 µM for the inhibition of MAO-B. For the purpose of this study the phenoxymethyl side-chain was replaced with a phenylsulfanyl moiety at C8. The aim of this study was therefore to synthesize a series of 8-[(phenylsulfanyl)methyl]caffeine analogues and to compare their MAO-B inhibition potencies to the previously synthesised 8-(phenoxymethyl)caffeine derivatives. A series of five 8-[(phenylsulfanyl)ethyl]caffeine analogues was also synthesized in order to determine the effect of carbon chain elongation on the potency of MAO inhibition. Methods: The C8 substituted caffeine analogues were synthesised by reacting 1,3-dimethyl-5,6-diaminouracil with an appropriately substituted 2-(phenylsulfanyl)acetic acid or 3-(phenylsulfanyl)propanoic acid in the presence of a carbodiimide activating reagent, N-(3-dimethylaminopropyl)-N'-ethylcarbodiimide hydrochloride (EDAC). Ring closure of the intermediary amide was effected by reaction with sodium hydroxide. Resulting theophylline analogues were subsequently methylated in the presence of iodomethane to yield the target compounds. The structures of the C8 substituted caffeine analogues were verified by NMR and MS analysis. The purities thereof were subsequently estimated by HPLC analysis. The 8-[(phenylsulfanyl)methyl]caffeine and 8-[(phenylsulfanyl)ethyl]caffeine analogues were evaluated as MAO-A and –B inhibitors. The recombinant human enzymes were used as enzyme sources. The inhibitory potencies of the caffeine derivatives were expressed as IC50 values (the concentration of a drug that is required for 50% inhibition in vitro). The time- dependency of inhibition of MAO-B by the most potent inhibitor was also evaluated in order to determine the reversibility of inhibition of the test compound. A study was also conducted to determine the inhibition mode of the most potent test compound, by constructing a set of Lineweaver Burk plots. Results: The results showed that the 8-[(phenylsulfanyl)methyl]caffeine analogues were inhibitors of MAO-A and –B. The most potent inhibitor in the first series (1a–i) of this study were 8-[(3- bromophenylsulfanyl)methyl]caffeine and 8-[(4-bromophenylsulfanyl)methyl]caffeine with IC50 values of 4.90 and 4.05 µM, respectively. When these results were compared to those of the previously studied 8-(phenoxymethyl)caffeine derivatives it was found that, for these compounds, the bromine substituted homologues were also the most potent MAO-B inhibitors. The bromine substituted 8-(phenoxymethyl)caffeine derivatives exhibited IC50 values of 0.148 and 0.189 µM for those homologues containing bromine on the meta and para positions of the phenoxy side chain, respectively. In general, the 8- [(phenylsulfanyl)methyl]caffeine derivatives were found to be less potent MAO-B inhibitors than the 8-(phenoxymethyl)caffeine derivatives. The 8-[(phenylsulfanyl)methyl]caffeine derivatives also did not show as high a degree of selectivity for MAO-B (compared to MAO- A) as did the 8-(phenoxymethyl)caffeines. Similar to the 8-(phenoxymethyl)caffeines, the 8- [(phenylsulfanyl)methyl]caffeines also proved to be weak MAO-A inhibitors. The most potent inhibitor of MAO-A among the test compounds exhibited an IC50 value of 19.4 µM. The most potent MAO-A inhibitor among the previously studied 8-(phenoxymethyl)caffeines was more potent with an IC50 value of 4.59 µM. From these results it may be concluded that the phenoxy side chain is more suited for the design of caffeine derived MAO inhibitors than the phenylsulfanyl side chain. The results for the second series investigated in this study, the 8-[(phenylsulfanyl)ethyl]caffeines (2a–e), revealed the chlorine substituted derivatives to be the most potent MAO-B inhibitors. The meta and para chlorine substituted derivatives exhibited IC50 values of 5.67 and 7.79 µM, respectively, for the inhibition of MAO-B. Interestingly, the meta substituted derivative exhibited no inhibition toward the MAO-A isoenzyme. However, the 8-[(phenylsulfanyl)ethyl]caffeine derivatives were found to be very weak inhibitors of both MAO-A and –B and may be considered as less potent than the 8-[(phenylsulfanyl)methyl]caffeine derivatives. Since one of the aims of this study was to synthesise reversible MAO inhibitors, a time- dependency study was carried out with the best inhibitor (1i). The aim of this study was to determine the reversibility of inhibition by the 8-[(phenylsulfanyl)methyl]caffeine derivatives. From the results, it was concluded that the inhibition of MAO-B by compound 1i is reversible. To determine the mode of inhibition, a set of Lineweaver-Burk plots was constructed and since the plots were linear and intersected on the y-axis, it was concluded that 1i is a competitive inhibitor of MAO-B. Conclusion: This study concludes that the phenoxymethyl side-chain is more suited for the design of caffeine derived MAO-B inhibitors than the (phenylsulfanyl)methyl side-chain.
- Health Sciences 
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