Pyridinium Oximes with Ortho-Positioned Chlorine Moiety Exhibit Improved Physicochemical Properties and Efficient Reactivation of Human Acetylcholinesterase Inhibited by Several Nerve Agents

J Med Chem. 2018 Dec 13;61(23):10753-10766. doi: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.8b01398. Epub 2018 Nov 20.


Six chlorinated bispyridinium mono-oximes, analogous to potent charged reactivators K027, K048, and K203, were synthesized with the aim of improving lipophilicity and reducing the p Ka value of the oxime group, thus resulting in a higher oximate concentration at pH 7.4 compared to nonchlorinated analogues. The nucleophilicity was examined and the p Ka was found to be lower than that of analogous nonchlorinated oximes. All the new compounds efficiently reactivated human AChE inhibited by nerve agents cyclosarin, sarin, and VX. The most potent was the dichlorinated analogue of oxime K027 with significantly improved ability to reactivate the conjugated enzyme due to improved binding affinity and molecular recognition. Its overall reactivation of sarin-, VX-, and cyclosarin-inhibited AChE was, respectively, 3-, 7-, and 8-fold higher than by K027. Its universality, PAMPA permeability, favorable acid dissociation constant coupled with its negligible cytotoxic effect, and successful ex vivo scavenging of nerve agents in whole human blood warrant further analysis of this compound as an antidote for organophosphorus poisoning.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholinesterase / chemistry
  • Acetylcholinesterase / metabolism*
  • Butyrylcholinesterase / metabolism
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Chemical Phenomena
  • Chlorine / chemistry*
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Cholinesterase Reactivators / chemical synthesis
  • Cholinesterase Reactivators / chemistry*
  • Cholinesterase Reactivators / metabolism
  • Cholinesterase Reactivators / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Isomerism
  • Molecular Docking Simulation
  • Nerve Agents / pharmacology*
  • Oximes / chemical synthesis
  • Oximes / chemistry*
  • Oximes / metabolism
  • Oximes / pharmacology*
  • Protein Conformation
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors
  • Cholinesterase Reactivators
  • Nerve Agents
  • Oximes
  • Chlorine
  • Acetylcholinesterase
  • Butyrylcholinesterase