Physicochemistry shapes bioactivity landscape of pan-ABC transporter modulators: Anchor point for innovative Alzheimer's disease therapeutics

Int J Biol Macromol. 2022 Sep 30:217:775-791. doi: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2022.07.062. Epub 2022 Jul 13.


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a devastating neurological disorder characterized by the pathological accumulation of macromolecular Aβ and tau leading to neuronal death. Drugs approved to treat AD may ameliorate disease symptoms, however, no curative treatment exists. Aβ peptides were discovered to be substrates of adenosine triphosphate-(ATP)-binding cassette (ABC) transporters. Activators of these membrane-bound efflux proteins that promote binding and/or translocation of Aβ could revolutionize AD medicine. The knowledge about ABC transporter activators is very scarce, however, the few molecules that were reported contain substructural features of multitarget (pan-)ABC transporter inhibitors. A cutting-edge strategy to obtain new drug candidates is to explore and potentially exploit the recently proposed multitarget binding site of pan-ABC transporter inhibitors as anchor point for the development of innovative activators to promote Aβ clearance from the brain. Molecular associations between functional bioactivities and physicochemical properties of small-molecules are key to understand these processes. This study provides an analysis of a recently reported unique multitarget dataset for the correlation between multitarget bioactivity and physicochemistry. Six novel pan-ABC transporter inhibitors were validated containing substructural features of ABC transporter activators, which underpins the relevance of the multitarget binding site for the targeted development of novel AD diagnostics and therapeutics.

Keywords: ABC transporters; ABCB1 (P-gp); ABCC1 (MRP1); ABCG2 (BCRP); Alzheimer's disease (AD); Aβ (Abeta) peptides; Multitarget binding site (PANABC); Physicochemical property/properties; Polypharmacological landscape/space.

MeSH terms

  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily G, Member 2 / metabolism
  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters / metabolism
  • Alzheimer Disease* / drug therapy
  • Alzheimer Disease* / metabolism
  • Biological Transport
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Chemical Phenomena
  • Humans


  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily G, Member 2
  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters