Dual binding site acetylcholinesterase inhibitors: potential new disease-modifying agents for AD

J Mol Neurosci. 2006;30(1-2):85-8. doi: 10.1385/JMN:30:1:85.


The therapeutic potential of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitors has been strengthened recently by evidence showing that besides their role in cognitive function, they might contribute to slow down the neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients. It is known that AChE exerts secondary noncholinergic functions, related to its peripheral anionic site, in cell adhesion and differentiation, and recent findings also support its role in mediating the processing and deposition of beta-amyloid (Abeta) peptide. AChE is one of the proteins that colocalizes with Abeta peptide deposits in the brain of AD patients and promotes Abeta fibrillogenesis by forming stable AChEA beta complexes. Additionally, it has also been postulated that AChE binds through its peripheral site to the Abeta nonamyloidogenic form and acts as a pathological chaperone inducing a conformational transition to the amyloidogenic form (Inestrosa et al., 1996; Bartolini et al., 2003). Anew series of dual binding site AChE inhibitors has been designed and synthesized as new potent AChE inhibitors, which might simultaneously alleviate cognitive deficits and behave as disease-modifying agents by inhibiting Abeta peptide aggregation through binding to both catalytic and peripheral sites of the enzyme.

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholinesterase / metabolism
  • Alzheimer Disease / drug therapy*
  • Alzheimer Disease / enzymology
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors / pharmacokinetics*
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Tacrine / analogs & derivatives
  • Tacrine / pharmacokinetics


  • 6-chlorotacrine
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors
  • Tacrine
  • Acetylcholinesterase