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Dual Inhibitors of β-Amyloid Aggregation and Acetylcholinesterase as Multi-Target Anti-Alzheimer Drug Candidates

[ Vol. 13 , Issue. 15 ]


Elisabet Viayna, Raimon Sabate and Diego Muñoz-Torrero   Pages 1820 - 1842 ( 23 )


Notwithstanding the functional role that the aggregates of some amyloidogenic proteins can play in different organisms, protein aggregation plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of a large number of human diseases. One of such diseases is Alzheimer’s disease (AD), where the overproduction and aggregation of the β-amyloid peptide (A β) are regarded as early critical factors. Another protein that seems to occupy a prominent position within the complex pathological network of AD is the enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE), with classical and non-classical activities involved at the late (cholinergic deficit) and early (A β aggregation) phases of the disease. Dual inhibitors of Aβ aggregation and AChE are thus emerging as promising multi-target agents with potential to efficiently modify the natural course of AD. In the initial phases of the drug discovery process of such compounds, in vitro evaluation of the inhibition of Aβ aggregation is rather troublesome, as it is very sensitive to experimental assay conditions, and requires expensive synthetic Aβ peptides, which makes cost-prohibitive the screening of large compound libraries. Herein, we review recently developed multitarget anti-Alzheimer compounds that exhibit both A β aggregation and AChE inhibitory activities, and, in some cases also additional valuable activities such as BACE-1 inhibition or antioxidant properties. We also discuss the development of simplified in vivo methods for the rapid, simple, reliable, unexpensive, and high-throughput amenable screening of A β aggregation inhibitors that rely on the overexpression of A β42 alone or fused with reporter proteins in Escherichia coli.


Aggregation, Alzheimer’s disease, amyloid, bacterial inclusion bodies, dual inhibitors, in vivo assays.


Laboratori de Química Farmacèutica, Facultat de Farmàcia, and Institut de Biomedicina (IBUB), Universitat de Barcelona, Av. Joan XXIII, 27-31, 08028-Barcelona, Spain.

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