Two possible orientations of the HI-6 molecule in the reactivation of organophosphate-inhibited acetylcholinesterase

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The inhibition of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) by organophosphorus compounds (OPs) causes acute toxicity or death of the intoxicated individual. One group of these compounds, the OP nerve agents, pose an increasing threat in the world due to their possible use in the battlefield or terrorist acts. Antidotes containing oxime compounds to reactivate the inhibited enzyme are highly valued for treatment against OP poisoning. One of these reactivators, HI-6, was shown to be significantly more effective in treating soman toxicity than other oximes, such as 2-PAM, TMB4, and obidoxime. However, HI-6 was less effective in reactivating AChE inhibited by the OP pesticide, paraoxon. In this study, the mechanism for HI-6-induced reactivation of OP-AChE conjugates was investigated using mouse mutant AChEs inhibited with different OPs including organophosphate paraoxon, and several methylphosphonates. Results indicate that the HI-6 molecule may assume two different orientations in the reactivation of AChE inhibited by organophosphate and Sp methylphosphonates. These conclusions were further corroborated by reactivation studies using an analog of HI-6 in which the bispyridinium moieties are linked by a methylene bridge rather than an ether oxygen.

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