Assessing the Role of a Malonamide Linker in the Design of Potent Dual Inhibitors of Factor Xa and Cholinesterases

Molecules. 2022 Jul 2;27(13):4269. doi: 10.3390/molecules27134269.


The rational discovery of new peptidomimetic inhibitors of the coagulation factor Xa (fXa) could help set more effective therapeutic options (to prevent atrial fibrillation). In this respect, we explored the conformational impact on the enzyme inhibition potency of the malonamide bridge, compared to the glycinamide one, as a linker connecting the P1 benzamidine anchoring moiety to the P4 aryl group of novel selective fXa inhibitors. We carried out structure-activity relationship (SAR) studies aimed at investigating para- or meta-benzamidine as the P1 basic group as well as diversely decorated aryl moieties as P4 fragments. To this end, twenty-three malonamide derivatives were synthesized and tested as inhibitors of fXa and thrombin (thr); the molecular determinants behind potency and selectivity were also studied by employing molecular docking. The malonamide linker, compared to the glycinamide one, does significantly increase anti-fXa potency and selectivity. The meta-benzamidine (P1) derivatives bearing 2',4'-difluoro-biphenyl as the P4 moiety proved to be highly potent reversible fXa-selective inhibitors, achieving inhibition constants (Ki) in the low nanomolar range. The most active compounds were also tested against cholinesterase (ChE) isoforms (acetyl- or butyrylcholinesterase, AChE, and BChE), and some of them returned single-digit micromolar inhibition potency against AChE and/or BChE, both being drug targets for symptomatic treatment of mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease. Compounds 19h and 22b were selected as selective fXa inhibitors with potential as multimodal neuroprotective agents.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; N,N′-malonamides; acetylcholinesterase; antithrombotic agents; butyrylcholinesterase; fXa inhibitors; thrombin inhibitors.

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholinesterase
  • Benzamidines* / chemistry
  • Butyrylcholinesterase
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors* / chemistry
  • Drug Design
  • Factor Xa
  • Factor Xa Inhibitors* / chemistry
  • Fibrinolytic Agents / chemistry
  • Glycine / analogs & derivatives
  • Glycine / chemistry
  • Malonates* / chemistry
  • Molecular Docking Simulation
  • Molecular Structure
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Benzamidines
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors
  • Factor Xa Inhibitors
  • Fibrinolytic Agents
  • Malonates
  • glycine amide
  • Acetylcholinesterase
  • Butyrylcholinesterase
  • Factor Xa
  • malonamide
  • Glycine