Bisquaternary ligands of the common allosteric site of M2 acetylcholine receptors: search for the minimum essential distances between the pharmacophoric elements

J Med Chem. 1999 Mar 11;42(5):849-58. doi: 10.1021/jm981023f.


Structurally diverse molecules, such as alcuronium, gallamine, and tubocurarine as well as W84 and WDUO, are known to interact allosterically with ligand binding to muscarinic M2 acetylcholine receptors. Preliminary molecular modeling studies revealed two positive charges in the middle and two lateral aromatic areas to be essential elements of a high allosteric potency. To find out the optimum distances between these pharmacophoric elements, a systematic variation of the spacer in the series of W84, WDUO, and IWDUO compounds was performed. The allosteric reduction of the rate of dissociation of the antagonist [3H]-N-methylscopolamine from porcine heart M2 receptors served as a test system. The minimal essential distance between the positive charges was found to be 10 A. The length of the peripheral spacers connecting the positive charge and the lateral aromatic moiety appears to depend on the chemical functionality; the peripheral spacers have to be long and flexible enough to position the aromatic skeletons in the spatial neighborhood of the alkane middle chain: in the case of an oxime ether containing peripheral spacer, six atoms are required, and in the case of an alkane chain, four carbon atoms are necessary to adopt the pharmacophoric S-shape conformation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Allosteric Site
  • Animals
  • Hydrolysis
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Kinetics
  • Ligands
  • Models, Molecular
  • Myocardium / metabolism
  • Phthalimides / chemical synthesis*
  • Phthalimides / chemistry
  • Phthalimides / metabolism
  • Pyridines / chemical synthesis*
  • Pyridines / chemistry
  • Pyridines / metabolism
  • Radioligand Assay
  • Receptors, Muscarinic / metabolism*
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Swine


  • Ligands
  • Phthalimides
  • Pyridines
  • Receptors, Muscarinic