In the continuous research for potential drug lead candidates, the availability of highly informative screening methodologies may constitute a decisive element in the selection of best-in-class compounds. In the present study, a surface plasmon resonance (SPR)-based assay was developed and employed to investigate interactions between human recombinant AChE (hAChE) and four known ligands: galantamine, tacrine, donepezil and edrophonium. To this aim, a sensor chip was functionalized with hAChE using mild immobilization conditions to best preserve enzyme integrity. Binding affinities and, for the first time, kinetic rate constants for all drug-hAChE complexes formation/disruption were determined. Inhibitors were classified in two groups: slow-reversible and fast-reversible binders according to respective target residence time. Combining data obtained on drug-target residence time with data obtained on serum albumin binding levels, a good correlation with potency, plasma protein binding in vivo, and administration regimen was found. The outcomes of this work demonstrated that the developed SPR-based assay is suitable for the screening, the binding affinity ranking and the kinetic evaluation of hAChE inhibitors. The method proposed ensures a simpler and cost-effective assay to quantify kinetic rate constants for inhibitor-hAChE interaction as compared with other proposed and published methods. Eventually, the determination of residence time in combination with preliminary ADME studies might constitute a better tool to predict in vivo behaviour, a key information for the research of new potential drug candidates.
J Pharm Biomed Anal (Journal of pharmaceutical and biomedical analysis)
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