Neuropathy target esterase inhibitors: 2-alkyl-, 2-alkoxy-, and 2-(aryloxy)-4H-1,3,2-benzodioxaphosphorin 2-oxides

Chem Res Toxicol. 1992 Sep-Oct;5(5):680-4. doi: 10.1021/tx00029a014.


The standard probes used earlier to study neuropathy target esterase (NTE) are N,N'-diisopropyl phosphorofluorodiamidate (mipafox), diisopropyl phosphorofluoridate (DFP), 2-(2-methylphenoxy)-4H-1,3,2-benzodioxaphosphorin 2-oxide (2-CH3C6H4O-BDPO) (the neurotoxic metabolite of tri-o-cresyl phosphate), and dipentyl 2,2-dichlorovinyl phosphate (DDP) with I50s for hen brain enzyme of 7000, 700, 29, and 3 nM, respectively. NTE phosphorylated by DFP and DDP is proposed to undergo alkylation on aging, and this probably also occurs with 2-CH3C6H4O-BDPO. Optimized probes for NTE should meet the following specifications: highest potency achievable; rapid aging perhaps associated with alkylation; preferably a phosphonate so there are only two leaving groups. An attempt was made to achieve these goals in the 4H-1,3,2-benzodioxaphosphorin 2-oxide series by synthesis of 49 analogs systematically varied in the 2-alkyl, 2-alkoxy, or 2-(aryloxy) substituent. Special precautions are required in synthesis of BDPO derivatives because of their potential hazard on human exposure. Thirty of these compounds had NTE I50s lower than 3 nM. Representative high-potency NTE inhibitors in each series are [2-substituent,I50 (nM) for hen and human brain NTE, respectively]: octyl, 0.25 and 0.18; nonyloxy, 0.89 and 0.98; 4-propylphenoxy, 0.82 and 0.77. In comparing these compounds, although the octyl analog is the most potent in vitro NTE inhibitor, the propylphenoxy compound is the most effective in vivo NTE inhibitor and delayed neurotoxicant in hens. These benzodioxaphosphorins are improved probes for investigations on NTE phosphorylation and alkylation in relation to delayed neurotoxicity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Alkylation
  • Animals
  • Carboxylic Ester Hydrolases / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Chickens
  • Cyclic P-Oxides* / chemistry
  • Cyclic P-Oxides* / pharmacology
  • Cyclic P-Oxides* / toxicity
  • Female
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Phosphorylation
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Cyclic P-Oxides
  • Carboxylic Ester Hydrolases
  • neurotoxic esterase