The current study assesses the antioxidant effects of two similar isoflavonoids isolated from Pueraria lobata, coumestrol and puerarol, along with the cholinergic and amyloid-cascade pathways to mitigate Alzheimer's disease (AD). Antioxidant activity was evaluated via 1,1-diphenyl-2-picryhydrazyl (DPPH) and peroxynitrite (ONOO-) scavenging ability further screened via ONOO--mediated nitrotyrosine. Similarly, acetyl- and butyrylcholinesterase (AChE/BChE) and β-site amyloid precursor protein cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1) inhibitory activities were assessed together with docking and kinetic studies. Considering DPPH and ONOO- scavenging activity, coumestrol (EC50 values of 53.98 and 1.17 µM) was found to be more potent than puerarol (EC50 values of 82.55 and 6.99 µM) followed by dose dependent inhibition of ONOO--mediated nitrotyrosine. Coumestrol showed pronounced AChE and BChE activity with IC50 values of 42.33 and 24.64 µM, respectively, acting as a dual cholinesterase (ChE) inhibitor. Despite having weak ChE inhibitory activity, puerarol showed potent BACE1 inhibition (28.17 µM). Kinetic studies of coumestrol showed AChE and BChE inhibition in a competitive and mixed fashion, whereas puerarol showed mixed inhibition for BACE1. In addition, docking simulations demonstrated high affinity and tight binding capacity towards the active site of the enzymes. In summary, we undertook a comparative study of two similar isoflavonoids differing only by a single aliphatic side chain and demonstrated that antioxidant agents coumestrol and puerarol are promising, potentially complementary therapeutics for AD.
Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; BACE1; cholinesterase; kinetics; molecular docking.