Regioselective synthesis, biological evaluation, and molecular docking of dihydropyrimidin-4-ols as acetylcholinesterase inhibitors

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A new series of 3,6-disubstituted 2-(methylthio)-4-(trifluoromethyl)-3,4-dihydropyrimidin-4-ols displaying methyl, phenyl, aryl, and heteroaryl groups at the 6-position; and methyl, ethyl, allyl, and phenyl groups at the 3-position of the dihydropyrimidine ring, were synthesized and evaluated in vitro for acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activity. Seven compounds showed activity with IC50 values in the lower micromolar range. The compound 4-trifluoromethyl-6-(4-fluorophenyl)-3-methyl-2-methylthio-3,4-dihydropyrimidin-4-ol (6e) had the best inhibitory activity (IC50 2.2 ± 0.9 μm) and this inhibition was characterized as competitive. The molecular docking study showed that the acetylcholinesterase enzyme accommodates compound 6e in its catalytic site. The enantiomers of compound 6e, present similar interactions: π–π stacking interactions between the aromatic ring of the ligand's 4-fluorophenyl moiety and the aromatic rings of the electron-rich Trp84; and H-bonds between the hydroxyl group of Tyr121 and the hydroxyl moiety from 6e. The antioxidant effect of the dihydropyrimidin-4-ols was also investigated.

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