Design, Synthesis, and Biological Evaluation of Novel Chromanone Derivatives as Multifunctional Agents for the Treatment of Alzheimer's Disease

ACS Chem Neurosci. 2022 Dec 7;13(23):3488-3501. doi: 10.1021/acschemneuro.2c00520. Epub 2022 Nov 16.


Based on a multitarget strategy, a series of novel chromanone-1-benzyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridin hybrids were identified for the potential treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Biological evaluation demonstrated that these hybrids exhibited significant inhibitory activities toward acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and monoamine oxidase B (MAO-B). The optimal compound C10 possessed excellent dual AChE/MAO-B inhibition both in terms of potency and equilibrium (AChE: IC50 = 0.58 ± 0.05 μM; MAO-B: IC50 = 0.41 ± 0.04 μM). Further molecular modeling and kinetic investigations revealed that compound C10 was a dual-binding inhibitor bound to both the catalytic anionic site and peripheral anionic site of AChE. In addition, compound C10 exhibited low neurotoxicity and potently inhibited AChE enzymatic activity. Furthermore, compound C10 more effectively protected against mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidation than donepezil, strongly inhibited AChE-induced amyloid aggregation, and moderately reduced glutaraldehyde-induced phosphorylation of tau protein in SH-SY5Y cells. Moreover, compound C10 displayed largely enhanced improvements in cognitive behaviors and spatial memory in a scopolamine-induced AD mice model with better efficacy than donepezil. Overall, the multifunctional profiles of compound C10 suggest that it deserves further investigation as a promising lead for the prospective treatment of AD.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; acetylcholinesterase; chromanone; hybrids; monoamine oxidase B.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholinesterase / metabolism
  • Alzheimer Disease* / drug therapy
  • Animals
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors* / chemical synthesis
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors* / pharmacology
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors* / therapeutic use
  • Chromones* / chemical synthesis
  • Chromones* / pharmacology
  • Chromones* / therapeutic use
  • Drug Design
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors* / chemical synthesis
  • Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors* / pharmacology
  • Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors* / therapeutic use


  • Acetylcholinesterase
  • Chromones
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors
  • Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors